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THE TRAGEDY OF X (Republished as by Ellery Queen) 
THE TRAGEDY OF Y (Republished as by Ellery Queen) 
THE TRAGEDY OF Z (Republished as by Ellery Queen) 








(A Radio Adaptation) 



"The members of the Society of Infallible Detectives were 
just sitting around and being socially infallible, in their 
rooms in Fakir Street, when President Holmes strode 

in." (page 40) 












Published March 1944 
Reprinted April 1944 
Reprinted May 1944 



Dear Reader: 

This is one of the Queens speaking . . . 

I want to tell you the unforgettable circumstances that led to my 
first meeting with Sherlock Holmes. 

When I was a child my family lived in a small town in western 
New York. I didn't realize it then, but I was given a colossal gift 
early in life a Huckleberry Finn-Tom Sawyer boyhood spent, by 
a strange coincidence, in the very town in which Mark Twain lived 
shortly before I was born. 

Does any man with a spark of boyhood still in his heart ever for- 
get his home town? No it's an unconquerable memory. Most of us 
never return, but none of us forgets. 

I remember we had a river at our back door the gentle Chemung. 
I remember how, in the cycle of years, the spring torrents came down 
from the hills; how they overflowed our peaceful valley yes, over 
the massive concrete dikes that towered with grim Egyptian austerity 
above the shallow bed of the Chemung. I remember how old man 
river burst through our back door, flooding our kitchen and parlor, 
driving us temporary refugees to our top floor. Happy days for 
a wide-eyed boy, proud in his hip-boots and man's sou'wester, with 
the prospect of daily trips by rowboat voyages of high adventure 
to the nearest grocer! 

I remember the unpaved streets the heavily rutted road that 
slept in the sun before our house. I have a queer memory about 
those ruts. Every 4th of July we boys would plant our firecrackers 
deep in the soft earth of those ruts. Then we'd touch our smoking 
punks to the row of seedling fuses, run for cover, and watch the 
"thunderbolts" (that's what they were called in those days) explode 
with a muffled roar and send heavenward at least three feet! 
a shower of dirt and stones. It wasn't so long after the Spanish- 
American War that we couldn't pretend we were blowing up the 


Maine in some strangely perverted terrestrial fashion only small 
boys can invent. 

I remember the long walks to and from public school three miles 
each way, in summer mud and winter drifts; the cherry trees and 
apple trees and chicken coops and dogs the long succession of 
dogs ending with that fine hunter that was killed by a queer-looking 
machine called an "automobile." I remember the all-day trips to the 
brown October hills, gathering nuts; the wood fires and the popping 
corn; the swimming hole that no one knew about but ourselves; the 
boyhood secret society and its meeting place in the shed behind my 
best friend's house. We called it "The League of the Clutching Hand" 
can you guess why ? 

But I started to tell you how I first met Sherlock Holmes. Some- 
how I cannot think of Holmes without succumbing to a wave of 
sentimental nostalgia. I find myself fading back far, far back in 
the remembrance of things past. 

As a boy my reading habits were pure and innocent. I confess 
now that I never read a Nick Carter until I was past thirty. My 
literary childhood consisted of Horatio Alger and Tom Swift and 
the Viking legends and the multi-colored Lang fairy books and 
yes, the Oz stories. I can reread the Oz stories even today and I 
do. Somehow crime and detection failed to cross my path in all 
those happy days, except in the movies "The Clutching Hand," 
remember? The closest I might have come to blood and thunder 
would have been TOM SAWYER, DETECTIVE I say "might have come," 
because oddly enough I have no recollection of TOM SAWYER, DE- 
TECTIVE as part of my early reading. 

When I was twelve years old my family moved to New York City. 
For a time we lived with my grandfather in Brooklyn. It was in my 
grandfather's house, only a few weeks after my arrival in fabulous 
New York, that I met Sherlock Holmes. Oh, unforgettable day! 

I was ill in bed. In those days I was afflicted periodically with an 
abscess of the left ear. It came year after year, with almost astronom- 
ical regularity and always, I remember, during the week of school 
exams. My grandfather had an old turnip of a watch that he used to 
place flat against my left ear, and it always astounded him that, even 
after the ordeal of having had my ear lanced, I still couldn't hear 
his Big Ben tick. 


I was lying in bed, a miserable youngster, on just such a day as 
Dr. Watson has so often described a "bleak and windy" day with 
the ringers of winter scratching at the window pane. One of my 
aunts walked in and handed me a book she had borrowed at the 
near-by public library. 


I opened the book with no realization that I stood rather, I 
sat on the brink of my fate. I had no inkling, no premonition, 
that in another minute my life's work, such as it is, would be born. 
My first glance was disheartening. I saw the frontispiece of the 
Harper edition a picture of a rather innocuous man in dress coat 
and striped trousers holding the arm of a young woman in bridal 
gown. A love story, I said to myself for surely this unattractive 
couple were in a church about to be married. The quotation under 
the illustration "The gentleman in the pew handed it up to her" 
was not encouraging. In fact, there was nothing in that ill-chosen 
frontispiece by Sidney Paget to make a twelve-year-old boy sit up 
and take notice especially with his left ear in agony. 

Only an unknown and unknowable sixth sense prompted me to 
turn to the table of contents and then the world brightened. The 
first story A Scandal in Bohemia seemed to hold little red- 
blooded promise, but the next story was, and always will be, a mile- 

A strange rushing thrill challenged the pain in my ear. The Red- 
Headed League! What a combination of simple words to skewer 
themselves into the brain of a hungry boy ! I glanced down quickly 
The Man with the Twisted Lip The Adventure of the Speckled 
Band and I was lost! Ecstatically, everlastingly lost! 

I started on the first page of A Scandal in Bohemia and truly, the 
game was afoot. The unbearable pain in my ear vanished! The 
abyss of melancholy into which only a twelve-year-old boy can sink 

I finished THE ADVENTURES that night. I wasn't sad I was glad. 
It wasn't the end it was the beginning. I had knocked fearlessly 
on the door of a new world and I had been admitted. There was a 
long road ahead even longer than I dreamed. That night, as I 
closed the book, I knew that I had read one of the greatest books 
ever written. And today I realize with amazement how true and 


tempered was my twelve-year-old critical sense. For in the mature 
smugness of my present literary judgment, I still feel unalterably 

that THE ADVENTURES is one of the world's masterworks. 

I could not have slept much that night. If I did, I merely passed 
from one dreamworld to another with the waking dream in- 
finitely more wondrous. I remember when morning came how 
symbolically the sun shone past my window. I- leaped from bed, 
dressed, and with that great wad of yellow-stained cotton still in 
my ear, stole out of the house. As if by instinct I knew where the 
public library was. Of course it wasn't open, but I sat on the steps 
and waited. And though I waited hours, it seemed only minutes 
until a prim old lady came and unlocked the front door. 

But, alas I had no card. Yes, I might fill out this form, and 
take it home, and have my parents sign it, and then after three days 

three days? three eternities! I could call and pick up my card. 
I begged, I pleaded, I implored and there must have been some- 
thing irresistible in my voice and in my eyes. Thank you now, Miss 
Librarian-of-Those-Days! Those thanks are long overdue. For that 
gentle-hearted old lady broke all the rules of librarydom and gave 
me a card and told me with a twinkle in her eyes where I could 
find books by a man named Doyle. 

I rushed to the stacks. My first reaction was one of horrible and 
devastating disappointment. Yes, there were books by Doyle on the 
shelves but so few of them! I had expected a whole libraryful 
rows and rows of Sherlock, all waiting patiently for my "coming of 

I found three precious volumes. I bundled them under my arm, 
had them stamped, and fled home. Back in bed I started to read 
A STUDY IN SCARLET, THE MEMOIRS (with a frontispiece that almost 
frightened me to death), THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. They were 
food and drink and medicine and all the Queen's horses and all 
the Queen's men couldn't put Ellery together again. 

But my doom had been signed, sealed, and delivered in THE AD- 
VENTURES. The books which followed merely broadened the picture, 
filled in the indelible details. That tall, excessively lean man. His 
thin razor-like face and hawk's-bill of a nose. The curved pipe, the 
dressing gown. The way he paced up and down the room, quickly, 


eagerly, his head sunk upon his chest. The way he examined the 
scene of a crime, on all fours, his nose to the ground. The gaunt 
dynamic figure and his incisive speech. The gasogene, the Persian 
slipper, and the coal scuttle for the cigars. The bullet-pocks on the 
wall, the scraping violin. The hypodermic syringe 1 - what a shock 
to my fledgling sensibilities! The ghostly hansom cab with a 
twelve-year-old boy clinging by some miracle of literary gymnastics 
to its back as it rattled off through the mist and fog ... 
Reader, I had met Sherlock Holmes. 

THIS IS now both Queens speaking . . . 

To think of Sherlock Holmes by any other name, 2 as Vincent 
Starrett has said, is paradoxically unthinkable. And yet in this book 
you will meet him under a host of aliases. 

It is interesting to note that the name, as we know it today, did 
not come to Doyle's mind in a lightning flash of inspiration. Doyle 
had to labor over it. His first choice, according to H. Douglas Thom- 
son, 3 was Sherrington Hope. Only after considerable shuffling and 
reshuffling did Doyle hit on that peculiarly magical and inexplicably- 
satisfying combination of syllables which is now so permanent a part 
of the English language. 

There seems to have been a halfway mark when the name was 
Sherrinford Holmes, which Vincent Starrett claims to have been the 
first form, 4 substantiating this claim with a reproduction of a page 
from Conan Doyle's old notebook 5 in which "Sherrinford Holmes" 

1 A persistent legend attributes the reform of Sherlock Holmes (the cocaine habit 
disappears in the later adventures) to a member of Britain's Royal Family who is sup- 
posed to have suggested to Doyle that Holmes abandon the hypodermic in the in- 
terests of propriety. 

2 Holmes is sometimes called Fu-erh-mo-hsi by Chinese detective-story writers. He 
is invariably treated as a great popular hero who wages deadly combat with ghosts, 
fox-women, tiger-men, and other supernatural horrors so dear to the heart of the 
Chinese masses. 

3 H. Douglas Thomson's MASTERS OF MYSTERY: A Study of the Detective Story; Lon- 
don, Collins, 1931. Page 139: "In A STUDY IN SCARLET Sherlock Holmes made his first 
appearance as Mr. Sherrington Hope." 

* Vincent Starrett's THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES; New York, Macmillan, 

1933. page 8. 

5 Ibid., page n. The same notebook page proves that Watson also experienced a 
metamorphosis: his original name was supposed to have been Ormond Sacker! 


can be clearly deciphered in his creator's own handwriting. But there 
is no proof that the notebook page represents Doyle's earliest think- 
ing, 6 since in his autobiography 7 Sir Arthur makes the statement : 
"First it was Sherringford Holmes; then it was Sherlock Holmes." 
Note the additional "g" in the first name: this is unsupported by the 
notebook page and must be interpreted either as a trick of Doyle's 
memory or another evolutionary stage harking back to Thomson's 
"Sherrington." 8 

It has been said too that Doyle finally chose the surname "Holmes" 
because of his great admiration for Oliver Wendell Holmes, the 
American essayist, poet, and physician; and "Sherlock" because he 
once made thirty runs against a bowler of that name and thereafter 
had a kindly feeling for it. Both are mere beliefs, though almost uni- 
versally accepted. It is significant that Doyle revealed no details 
whatever in his autobiography as to the true origin of the final name. 

As a general rule writers of pastiches retain the sacred and invio- 
late form Sherlock Holmes and rightfully, since a pastiche is a 
serious and sincere imitation in the exact manner of the original 
author. But writers of parodies, which are humorous or satirical take- 
offs, have no such reverent scruples. They usually strive for the 
weirdest possible distortions and it must be admitted that many 
highly ingenious travesties have been conceived. Fortunately or un- 
fortunately, depending on how much of a purist one is, the name 
Sherlock Holmes is peculiarly susceptible to the twistings and mis- 
shapenings of burlesque-minded authors. 

6 Great writers are capable of great afterthoughts. The evolution of "Sherlock 
Holmes" from the incunabular "Sherrington Hope" and/or "Sherringford Holmes" 
is a creative change second only to Edgar Allan Poe's magnificent alteration in the 
title of die world's first detective story. Poe originally called it The Murders in the 
Rue Trianon Bas. The scratching out of Trianon Bas and the adding of [Rue] Morgue 
is one of the most inspired acts of penmanship in the history of literature. 

7 MEMORIES AND ADVENTURES; London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1924; Boston, Little, 
Brown, 1924. How could Doyle have resisted die overwhelming temptation to call his 

8 It is Vincent Starrett's opinion dial Mr. Thomson merely trusted to his memory 
when he claimed Sherrington Hope to be die original name and that his memory 
failed him. Mr. Thomson probably garbled Doyle's own statement about Sherrin(g)ford 
Holmes, tJhen mixed it up with Jefferson Hope, the name of the murderer in A STUDY 
IN SCARLET. Mr. Starrett is so certain this is what happened diat he is willing to bet 
all his precious first editions of Holmes that he is right! Personally, we agree with 
Mr. Starrett's views so unconditionally, in fact, that we are prepared to risk our 
own precious first editions by offering to share Mr. Starrett's bet. 


That is why you will meet in this volume such appellative dis- 
guises as 

Sherlaw Kombs 

Picklock Holes 
Thinlock Bones 
Shylock Homes 9 
Hemlock Jones 
Purlock Hone 
Holmlock Shears 
Herlock Sholmes 
Shamrock Jolnes 
Solar Pons 
Shirley Holmes 

and, by comparison, such moderately warped Watsonisms as 


WE CANNOT bring you anything new of Sherlock you've read 
all there is. By the time this book is published, the newly discovered 
short story, The Man Who Was Wanted, may have been given to 
the world by the Doyle estate and you will have devoured that. 
And that's all there is, there is no more. We are realists enough to 
face the hard fact that there is no Cox's Bank --not in this world; 
that there is no dispatch-box in its legendary vaults containing the 
documents of unrecorded cases. They are lost to us forever. 

9 One of the newest variants has a curious politico-economic flavor: on the night of 
May 6 1943, in the Rudy Vallee radio show, Basil Rathbone played the part ot a 
detective named F. H. A. Homes. And currently, in the magazine 'Speed Comics, 
there is a series of color comics in which The Master Detective (assisted by Dr. Watsis) 
is called Padlock Homes. 

Two bizarre uses of Sherlock as a first name also come to mind. On July ii, 
1043 Station WJZ of New York broadcast a "Sneak Preview" radio program titled 
"Cohen the Detective"; this show. Potash and Perlmutter style, concerned the de- 
tectival misadventures of two partners in the clothing business, Mr. Sherlock Cohen 
and his associate, Mr. Wasserman. And in the magazine "Funny Animals, there is 
now appearing a series of color comics about Sherlock Monk, a monkey wearing a 
deerstalker-cap and smoking a calabash pipe, and his assistant, Chuck, a duck wearing 
a flat, wide-brimmed straw hat; it is Chuck, however, who is the real sleuth of this 
strange zoological detective-team. 


Someone has said that more has been written about Sherlock 
Holmes than about any other character in fiction. It is further true 
that more has been written about Holmes by others than by Doyle 
himself. Vincent Starrett once conjectured that "innumerable paro- 
dies of THE ADVENTURES have appeared in innumerable journals." 10 
There aren't that many, of course; but a half dozen or more full- 
length volumes have been devoted to Holmes's career and personality, 
literally hundreds of essays and magazine articles, a few-score radio 
dramas, some memorable plays, many moving-picture scripts and 
to put it more accurately, numerous parodies and pastiches. 

We bring you the finest of these parodies and pastiches. They are 
the next best thing to new stories unrecorded cases of The Great 
Man, not as Dr. Watson related them, but as some of our most 
brilliant literary figures have imagined them. These "misadventures" 
- these Barriesque adventures that might have been are all writ- 
ten with sincere reverence, despite the occasional laughter and fun- 
pokings, which are only a psychological form of adoration or, 
perhaps, downright envy. The old proverb "imitation is the sin- 
cerest flattery" reveals in a single laconic sentence the compre- 
hensive motif of this book. 

You will see Holmes through the eyes of Mark Twain, O. Henry, 
Bret Harte, Sir James Barrie, Stephen Leacock, and lesser lights 
all Devotees of Doyle and Sycophants of Sherlock, all humble Wat- 
sons paying homage from their own 22iB, the eternal sanctuary of 
perpetual youth. 

AND FINALLY, an explanation for certain omissions "missing 
misadventures." We have not failed to consider the inclusion of three 
pastiches in which Sherlock Holmes solves the mystery of Charles 
Dickens's Edwin Drood. The first of these, by Andrew Lang, ap- 
peared in "Longman's Magazine," London, issue of September 1905. 
The second, by Edmund Lester Pearson, is contained in Chapter III 
of the author's THE SECRET BOOK (New York, Macmillan, 1914). The 
third, by Harry B. Smith, appeared in "Munsey's Magazine," De- 
cember 1924, and was later published in book form. 11 After many 
pipefuls of indecision we came to the conclusion that all three are 

10 Vincent Starrett's THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES; page 162. 

Glen Rock, Pa., Walter Klinefelter, 1934, private edition limited to thirty-three copies. 


too specialized in treatment and content matter to appeal to the 

general reader. 

Nor have we overlooked Corey Ford's The Rollo Boys with Sher- 
loc{ in Mayfair; or, Keep It Under Your Green Hat. This is to be 
and in the January 1926 issue of "The Bookman." As the title in- 
dicates, Mr. Ford contrived a triple-barreled parody of the Rover 
Boys, Sherlock Holmes, and Michael Arlen. But the satirical em- 
phasis was almost exclusively on Arlen's literary style in his famous 
book, THE GREEN HAT, and so fails to maintain contemporary interest. 
Regretfully we have been forced to exclude the pastiches written 
by H. Bedford Jones. This popular author once wrote a series of 
stories revealing the "true facts" in Watson's unrecorded cases an 
imaginary dip into that "travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box" 
in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross. But 
after writing the series, H. Bedford Jones decided to remove Sher- 
lockthus disenchanting the stories and sold most of them as 
"ordinary" detective tales. We have had the pleasure of reading 
three of Mr. Jones's "recorded" cases The Adventure of the At- 
\inson Brothers (referred to by Watson in A Scandal in Bohemia), 
The Affair of the Aluminium Crutch (referred to in The Uusgrave 
Ritual)?* and The Adventure of the Matilda Briggs (referred to 
in The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire}. 15 

We have also this time without regret omitted a translation 
of the numerous "Sherlock Ol-mes" pastiches counterfeited, so to 
speak, in the pulp-factories of Barcelona. These were written by 
anonymous hacks and spread throughout the Spanish-language coun- 
tries of the world. You will understand our restraint when you read 
the following synopsis, generously supplied by that indefatigable 
enthusiast, Mr. Anthony Boucher. It is a typical example of what 
happened to Holmes in MEMORIAS ULTIMAS a potboiler-potpourri 
of sex and sensation titled Jac^, El Destripador (}ac{ the Ripper). 

12 A rare instance in which book -appearance (New York, Doran, 1925) anticipated 
magazine-appearance ("The Bookman," January 1926). 

13 THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES; London, Newnes, 1892; New York, Har- 
per, 1892. 

i* MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES; New York, Harper, 1894; London, Newnes, 1894. 
i 5 THE CASE-BOOK OF SHERLOCK HOLMES; London, Murray, 1927; New York, Doran, 


The story opens in the office of Mr. Warm [sic], chief of police of 
London. Holmes has just returned from handling a delicate affair 
in Italy, and Warm brings him up to date on the latest development 
in London crime: Jack the Ripper. There have been 37 (!) victims 
so far all women. 

Holmes's ancient rival, detective Murphy, enters with news of the 
38th the singer Lilian Bell. After a crude exchange of insults, 
Holmes and Murphy agree to a wager as to who will catch the Ripper. 
The stakes are ^1000, to which Warm adds 25 bottles of champagne 
for the winner. 

Next we see the bedroom of the fair Lilian, with her disembowelled 
corpse tastefully arranged amid flowers on the bed. Her maid, Har- 
riette Blunt, is disconsolate. Her brother, Grover Bell, is wondering 
about her will. Josias Wakefield, representative of the Requiescat in 
Pace Funeral Directors, calls to measure the body. His activities are 
curious, including the discovery of Lilian's false tooth and the de- 
duction from it that she smoked opium. He drops his magnifying 
glass under the bed and there finds a disguised individual whom he 
recognizes as Murphy. Murphy clenches his fist and rages: 

"Man, or rather devil, I know you! You are you are " 

"Sherlock Holmes, detective, at your service," said the other laugh- 
ing. And vanished. 

Holmes next disguises himself as an opium addict, to the admiring 
amazement of his assistant, Harry Taxon (!), and slips out of his 
house to keep such a disreputable masquerade from his landlady, 
Mrs. Bonnet (!). He visits an opium den run by a half-caste Mrs. Ca- 
jana, secures opium from her, and then blackmails her for informa- 
tion on the threat of exposing her racket. He learns that Lilian Bell 
was a customer, and that Mrs. Cajana gets her drugs from a mysteri- 
ous person known to her only as "The Indian Doctor." Suddenly a 
scream is heard from the next room. They dash in and find a beauti- 
ful damsel with her belly ripped open. Holmes spies the Ripper 
escaping, pursues him, but the Ripper makes good his flight by dar- 
ingly jumping aboard a moving train. 

Holmes identifies the latest (and 39th) victim by her custom-built 
shoes as Comtesse de Malmaison. He visits her father, the Marquis, 
a harsh old gentleman who thinks his daughter's death served her 
right if she spent her time in opium dens. 


Holmes questions the Comtesse's maid. She tells him that the 
Comtesse used the opium den as a blind to cover up assignations 
with her American riding instructor, Carlos Lake. 

Holmes grills Lake and learns that the only other person who knew 
of this arrangement was Dr. Roberto Fitzgerald, a prominent and 
respectable West End physician of Indian antecedents, who had made 
an appointment to meet the Comtesse at Mrs. Cajana's. The Doctor 
was to examine the Comtesse for a contemplated abortion. 

Holmes shadows the Doctor's wife 

"When you wish to learn a man's 
secrets, you must follow his wife," 

and witnesses a lover's tryst in Hyde Park between her and Captain 
Harry Thomson. He overhears Ruth Fitzgerald, the Doctor's wife, 
arrange to flee from her brutal, half-mad husband and take refuge 
with her lover's mother. 

Holmes then disguises himself as a retired soap manufacturer 
named Patrick O'Connor, calls on Dr. Fitzgerald, and warns him of 
his wife's elopement. The Doctor has a fit, literally, and denounces 
all the tribe of Eve as serpents that must be destroyed. He has a 
terrible scene with Ruth, after which he quiets himself with a shot 
of morphine. 

Holmes next disguises himself as Ruth Fitzgerald (!) 

"Englishwomen are usually slender rather than full- 
fleshed, and their stature is at times surprisingly tall." 

He manoeuvers Ruth away from her rendezvous and saunters along 
"with that special gait with which public women stroll the street." 

Dr. Fitzgerald comes along and recognizes "him." 

"My wife on the streets!" 

And the Ripper emerges full blast. He attacks Holmes but is 
frustrated; the detective has wisely donned a steel cuirasse. 

Meanwhile, back in Warm's office, the chief of police is listening 
to Murphy's report. Holmes, still looking like a loose woman (even 
more so), drags in Dr. Fitzgerald, and Murphy acknowledges that 
he has lost the bet. 

Further comment, you'll agree, is unnecessary. 


WE HAVE omitted too John Chapman's The Unmasking of Sher- 
loc\ Holmes, because this pastiche is devoted primarily to subtle 
literary criticism rather than to story. 16 In this article which appeared 
in "The Critic," issue of February 1905, Mr. Chapman reports an 
imaginary conversation between the two greatest detectives in print 
C. Auguste Dupin and Sherlock Holmes. 

Dupin, appearing suddenly in the rooms on Baker Street, strikes 
terror into the heart of Holmes, who looked "at the little Frenchman 
on the threshold as if M. Dupin had been a ghost." Dupin accuses 
Holmes of filching "the product of another's brain and palming it 
off as his own." 

Holmes admits that "it looks like a bad case against me. I've drawn 
freely upon you, M. Dupin." And Dupin, with a last admonition to 
Holmes not to overwork the exaggerated reports of his death, van- 
ishes, leaving Holmes as shamefaced as a schoolboy caught with 
stolen apples. 

The debt Holmes owed to Dupin rather, that Doyle owed to 
Poe is not a moot point. The first person to admit it was Sir 
Arthur Conan Doyle himself. In his Preface to the Author's Edition 
of 1903 (comparatively unknown in the United States), Doyle 
frankly revealed this indebtedness when, like the great and true 
gentleman he was, he stated that "Edgar Allan Poe was the father 
of the detective tale, and covered its limits so completely that I fail 
to see how his followers can find any fresh ground they can con- 
fidently call their own. . . . The writer sees the footmarks of Poe 
always in front of him. ... I can only claim the very limited credit 
of doing it from a fresh model and from a new point of view." 

But it is to Doyle's everlasting fame that while he took up where 
Poe left off, his "fresh model" of the immortal Dupin performed 
the impossible feat of achieving even greater immortality. 

Further omissions, listed for the benefit of those who have a pas- 
sion for completeness, include: 

16 A. A. Milne's Dr. Watson Speaks Out is omitted for the same reason. This classic 
review of an omnibus edition of Sherlock Holmes short stories was written as if by 
Dr. Watson himself - and at long last the good doctor defends himself and "ex- 
poses" Sherlock. First appearance in "Nation & Athenaeum," issue of November 17, 
1928. Later included in the author's book of essays, BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION; London, 
Mediuen, 1929; New York, Dutton, 1929. 


James L. Ford's The Story of Bishop Johnson, in "The Pocket 
Magazine," issue of November 1895 

Allen Upward's The Adventure of the Stolen Doormat, a parody 
of a certain "criminal specialist in Baker Street" who stgned 
himself H-LM-S, in the author's book, THE WONDERFUL CAREER OF 
EBENEZER LOBE, London, Hurst and Blackett, 1900 
Charlton Andrews's The Bound of the Astorbilts and The Re- 
sources of Mycroft Holmes, in "The Bookman," issues of 
1902 and December 1903, respectively 

J. Alston Cooper's Dr. Watson's Wedding Present, in "The 
Bookman," issue of February 1903 

George F. Forrest's The Adventure of the Diamond Necklace, 
in MISFITS: A BOOK OF PARODIES, Oxford, Harvey, 1905, featuring 
detective Warlock Bones and narrator Goswell, the latter name 
obviously a "switch" on Boswell rather than on Watson 
Robin Dunbar's Sherlock Holmes Up-to-Date, a socialistic satire 
in THE DETECTIVE BUSINESS, Chicago, Kerr, 1909 
Maurice Baring's From the Diary of Sherloc\ Holmes, which 
first appeared in "Eye-Witness" (London), November 23, 1911, 
then in "The Living Age" (U.S.), June 20, 1912, and finally in 
the author's book, LOST DIARIES, London, Duckworth, 1913 
Leiden, 1912 a book of parodies containing The Moving Pic- 
ture Theatre, The Adventure of the Bloody Post Parcel, The 
Adventure of the Singular Advertisement, and The Adventure 
of the Mysterious Tom-Cat, the last a burlesque of THE HOUND 
OF THE BASKERVILLES changed to "The Tom-Cat of the Cooker- 

BUTTONS, New York, Neale, 1918, a long novelette in which 
Hemlock Holmes triumphs over Inspector Letstrayed 
J. Storer Clouston's The Truthful Lady, a parody of Dr. Watson 
with Sherlock Holmes present only in spirit, in the authors 
book, CARRINGTON'S CASES, Edinburgh, Blackwood, 1920 


H. F. Heard's A TASTE FOR HONEY, New York, Vanguard, 1941, 
and REPLY PAID, New York, Vanguard, 1942, in which the name 
Sherlock Holmes is never mentioned; but the detective, who 
calls himself Mr. Mycroft, is none other than The One and Only 
in beekeeping retirement 

THE PUBLICATION of this anthology marks the first time the 
great parodies and pastiches of that "Extraordinary Man," as Mark 
Twain affectionately called him, have been collected in a single 

Why no one thought of doing it before, we shall never understand. 
But we are grateful the task has been left for us. Perhaps it was 
ordained that way from the beginning, by Someone who looks after 
twelve-year-old boys; perhaps this is a token-payment for the mo- 
ment that, early or late, comes only once in a lifetime. 






by Robert Barr 3 


by Maurice Leblanc 14 


by Carolyn Wells 39 

1920 THE UNIQUE HAMLET by Vincent Starr ett 48 


by Anthony Berkeley 66 


by Agatha Christie 70 


by Anthony Boucher 


by Ellery Queen 


by Stuart Palmer 108 




by Sir James M. Barrie 119 


by Mar\ Twain 123 


by Bret Harte 164 


by O. Henry 175 



by R. C. Lehmann 185 


by John K.endric\ Bangs 190 


by John KendricJ^ Bangs 208 


by Stephen Leacoc]{ 218 


by Stephen Leacocf^ 227 




by Zero (Allan Ramsay} 231 

1894 THE SIGN OF THE "400" 

by R. K. MunkittricJ^ 235 

1907 OUR MR. SMITH by Oswald Crawjurd 238 


by Jules Castier 245 


by A. E. P. 256 


by August Derleth 261 


by William O. Fuller 


by Hugh Kingsmill 


by Rachel Ferguson 


by Frederic Dorr Steele 


by Frederic Arnold Kummer 
and Basil Mitchell 





Ji I v I* \f f If t* 4 J-t I t'\sfiA' **- vtnit>ii\*i 

and Basil Mitchell 313 



by Logan Clendening, M.D. 330 


by Richard Mallett 33 2 

1936 CHRISTMAS EVE by S. C. Roberts 33 6 


by Manly Wade Wellman 348 



INDEX 3 6 5 

HOLMES, Sherlock; b. circa 1854, grandson of sister of the French mili- 
tary fainter Vernet, younger brother of Mycroft Holmes. Unmarried. 
Educ. College graduate, irregular student in chemical and anatomical 
classes of London University at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London; 
while a student devised new test for bloodstains, replacing old guaiacum 
test, through reagent precipitated by hemoglobin and no other substance; 
private consultive practice begun circa 7^77 and continued 23 years; after 
disappearance and reported death, May i, 1891, explored Tibet and pene- 
trated Lhassa as a Norwegian named Sigerson, visiting Persia, Mecca and 
Khartoum before returning to professional practice in London, April, 
1894, to complete the destruction of Professor Monarty's criminal gang; 
retired circa 7903 to small farm upon Sussex Downs five miles from East- 
bourne, devoting himself to bee-keeping and giving up professional wor\ 
except for a mysterious mission to Shantung, 1914, for the Admiralty, clear- 
ing up the death of Fitzroy McPherson, and a German espionage case, 
1912-1914, which caused him to reside at various times in Chicago, Buffalo 
and Sfobbareen, Ireland, under the name Altamont; received Congres- 
sional Medal for services to U. S. Government in so-called "Adventure 
of the American Ambassador and the Thermite Bullet"; diamond sword 
from King Albert of Belgium, 1916; and Versailles Plaque (with palms}. 
Club: Diogenes. Author: Monographs, "Upon the Typewriter and Its 
Relation to Crime'; "Upon the Distinction Between the Ashes of the 
Various Tobaccos 140 Forms of Cigar, Cigarette and Pipe Tobaccos," 
ill. with colored plates; "Upon the Influence of a Trade on the Form of a 
Hand," ill. with lithotypes; "Upon the Tracing of Footsteps"; "Upon the 
Dating of Documents"; "Upon Tattoo Mar^s"; "Upon the Polyphonic 
Motets of Lassus" and "Upon Variations in the Human Ear" (two issues 
of "The Anthropological Journal"); two short accounts of cases: "The 
Adventure of the Blanched Soldier" and "The Adventure of the Lion's 
Mane"; "The Boo^ of Life" a magazine article on the theory of deduc- 
tion, published anonymously, "Practical Handbook, of Bee Culture with 
Some Observations on the Segregation of the Queen." Assistant and nar- 
rator: Dr. John H. Watson. For celebrated cases see: A STUDY IN SCARLET 


HOLMES (1927). Hobbies: The violin, medieval music, boxing, fencing, 
bee-keeping, snapshooting and criminal law. Indulgences: cocaine, mor- 
phine and shag tobacco. Residences: Montague Street, near the British 
Museum, London till 1881; 22iB Ba^er St., London till 1903, Sussex and, 

later, Devonshire. 




"Though he might be more humble, there's no 

police like Holmes." 


Detective: SHERLAW KOMBS Narrator: WHATSON 



Here is one of the earliest and still, in your Editors' opinion, 
one of the finest parodies of Sherlock^ Holmes. It appeared 
less than a year after the publication of the first Sherloc^ Holmes 
short story. 

"The Great Pegram Mystery" has an interesting bibliographic 
history. It broke into print in the May 1892 issue of "The Idler 
Magazine" (London and New Yorf(), edited do you remem- 
ber? by Jerome K. Jerome and Robert Barr. Originally it 
was called "Detective Stories Gone Wrong: The Adventures of 
Sherlaw Kombs," and was signed by the pen-name of Lu\e 
Sharp. Two years later, under its present title, it appeared in 
Robert Barr's boot^ of short stories, THE FACE AND THE MASK 
(London, Hutchinson, 189^; New Yor^, Stores, 7895) and 
thus the true authorship was acknowledged. 

Mr. Barr's parody reveals a shrewd grasp of the character 
of Sherloc/^ Holmes and an equally penetrating comprehension 
of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's style. You will recognize the 
inexorable sequence of idiosyncrasies and events the violin, 
the contempt for Scotland Yard, the anticipated visitor, the 
extraordinary deductions, and the minute examination of the 
scene of the crime by magnifying glass. Alas! only the solution 
fails to follow the time-honored pattern! 

It is especially fitting that Mr. Barr's burlesque be the chrono- 
logical leader in our Pageant of Parodies. For Mr. Barr made 
his indelible mar\ in serious detective fiction too. His histori- 
cally important booJ^, THE TRIUMPHS OF EUGENE VALMONT (Lon- 
don, Hurst & Blac\ett, 7906; New YorJ^, Appleton, 1906), gave 
us "The Absent-Minded Coterie" one of the truly great clas- 
sics among detective short stories. 



_ DROPPED in on my friend, Sherlaw Kombs, to hear what he had 
to say about the Pegram mystery, as it had come to be called in the 
newspapers. I found him playing the violin with a look of sweet 
peace and serenity on his face, which I never noticed on the coun- 
tenances of those within hearing distance. I knew this expression of 
seraphic calm indicated that Kombs had been deeply annoyed about 
something. Such, indeed, proved to be the case, for one of the morning 
papers had contained an article eulogizing the alertness and general 
competence of Scotland Yard. So great was Sherlaw Kombs's con- 
tempt for Scotland Yard that he never would visit Scotland during 
his vacations, nor would he ever admit that a Scotchman was fit 
for anything but export. 

He generously put away his violin, for he had a sincere liking for 
me, and greeted me with his usual kindness. 

"I have come," I began, plunging at once into the matter on my 
mind, "to hear what you think of the great Pegram mystery." 

"I haven't heard of it," he said quietly, just as if all London were 
not talking of that very thing. Kombs was curiously ignorant on 
some subjects, and abnormally learned on others. I found, for in- 
stance, that political discussion with him was impossible, because 
he did not know who Salisbury and Gladstone were. This made his 
friendship a great boon. 
"The Pegram mystery has baffled even Gregory, of Scotland 


"I can well believe it," said my friend, calmly. "Perpetual motion, 
or squaring the circle, would baffle Gregory. He's an infant, is 


This was one of the things I always liked about Kombs. 
was no professional jealousy in him, such as characterizes so many 

other men. 

He filled his pipe, threw himself into his deep-seated arm-chair, 
placed his feet on the mantel, and clasped his hands behind his 


"Tell me about it," he said simply. 

"Old Barrie Kipson," I began, "was a stock-broker in the City. 
He lived in Pegram, and it was his custom to " 


"CoME IN!" shouted Kombs, without changing his position, but 
with a suddenness that startled me. I had heard no knock. 

"Excuse me," said my friend, laughing, "my invitation to enter 
was a trifle premature. I was really so interested in your recital that 
I spoke before I thought, which a detective should never do. The fact 
is, a man will be here in a moment who will tell me all about diis 
crime, and so you will be spared further effort in that line." 

"Ah, you have an appointment. In that case I will not intrude," 
I said, rising. 

"Sit down; I have no appointment. I did not know until I spoke 
that he was coming." 

I gazed at him in amazement. Accustomed as I was to his ex- 
traordinary talents, the man was a perpetual surprise to me. He con- 
tinued to smoke quietly, but evidently enjoyed my consternation. 

"I see you are surprised. It is really too simple to talk about, but, 
from my position opposite die mirror, I can see die reflection of 
objects in the street. A man stopped, looked at one of my cards, and 
then glanced across die street. I recognized my card, because, as you 
know, they are all in scarlet. If, as you say, London is talking of 
this mystery, it naturally follows diat he will talk of it, and the 
chances are he wished to consult with me upon it. Anyone can see 
that, besides there is always Come in!" 

There was a rap at the door diis time. 

A stranger entered. Sherlaw Kombs did not change his lounging 

"I wish to see Mr. Sherlaw Kombs, the detective," said the stranger, 
coming within the range of the smoker's vision. 

"This is Mr. Kombs," I remarked at last, as my friend smoked 
quietly, and seemed half-asleep. 

"Allow me to introduce myself," continued the stranger, fumbling 
for a card. 

"There is no need. You are a journalist," said Kombs. 

"Ah," said the stranger, somewhat taken aback, "you know me, 

"Never saw or heard of you in my life before." 

"Then how in the world 

"Nothing simpler. You write for an evening paper. You have 
written an article condemning the book of a friend. He will feel bad 


about it, and you will condole with him. He will never know who 
stabbed him unless I tell him." 

"The devil!" cried the journalist, sinking into a chair and mopping 
his brow, while his face became livid. 

"Yes," drawled Kombs, "it is a devil of a shame that such things 
are done. But what would you, as we say in France." 

When the journalist had recovered his second wind he pulled 
himself together somewhat. "Would you object to telling me how 
you know these particulars about a man you say you have never 

"I rarely talk about these things," said Kombs with great com- 
posure. "But as the cultivation of the habit of observation may help 
you in your profession, and thus in a remote degree benefit me 
by making your paper less deadly dull, I will tell you. Your first 
and second fingers are smeared with ink, which shows that you 
write a great deal. This smeared class embraces two subclasses, clerks 
or accountants, and journalists. Clerks have to be neat in their work, 
The ink smear is slight in their case. Your fingers are badly and 
carelessly smeared; therefore, you are a journalist. You have an 
evening paper in your pocket. Anyone might have any evening 
paper, but yours is a Special Edition, which will not be on the street? 
for half an hour yet. You must have obtained it before you left the 
office, and to do this you must be on the staff. A book notice is marked 
with a blue pencil. A journalist always despises every article in hi; 
own paper not written by himself; therefore, you wrote the artick 
you have marked, and doubtless are about to send it to the author oi 
the book referred to. Your paper makes a speciality of abusing al 
books not written by some member of its own staff. That the authoi 
is a friend of yours, I merely surmised. It is all a trivial example oi 
ordinary observation." 

"Really, Mr. Kombs, you are the most wonderful man on earth 
You are the equal of Gregory, by Jove, you are." 

A frown marred the brow of my friend as he placed his pipe or 
the sideboard and drew his self-cocking . six-shooter. 

"Do you mean to insult me, sir?" 

"I do not I I assure you. You are fit to take charge of Scotlanc 
Yard to-morrow I am in earnest, indeed I am, sir." 


"Then heaven help you," cried Kombs, slowly raising his right 

I sprang between them. 

"Don't shoot!" I cried. "You will spoil the carpet. Besides, Sherlaw, 
don't you see the man means well. He actually thinks it is a compli- 

"Perhaps you are right," remarked the detective, flinging his re- 
volver carelessly beside his pipe, much to the relief of the third party. 
Then, turning to the journalist, he said, with his customary bland 

"You wanted to see me, I think you said. What can I do for you, 
Mr. Wilber Scribbings?" 

The journalist started. 

"How do you know my name?" he gasped. 

Kombs waved his hand impatiently. 

"Look inside your hat if you doubt your own name." 

I then noticed for the first time that the name was plainly to be 
seen inside the top-hat Scribbings held upside down in his hands. 

"You have heard, of course, of the Pegram mystery " 

"Tush," cried the detective; "do not, I beg of you, call it a mystery. 
There is no such thing. Life would become more tolerable if there 
ever was a mystery. Nothing is original. Everything has been done 
before. What about the Pegram affair?" 

"The Pegram ah case has baffled everyone. The Evening 
Blade wishes you to investigate, so that it may publish the result. It 
will pay you well. Will you accept the commission?" 

"Possibly. Tell me about the case." 

"I thought everybody knew the particulars. Mr. Barrie Kipson 
lived at Pegram. He carried a first-class season ticket between the 
terminus and that station. It was his custom to leave for Pegram on 
the 5.30 train each evening. Some weeks ago, Mr. Kipson was brought 
down by the influenza. On his first visit to the City after his 
recovery, he drew something like ^300 in notes, and left the office 
at his usual hour to catch the 5.30. He was never seen again alive, 
as far as the public have been able to learn. He was found at Brewster 
in a first-class compartment on the Scotch Express, which does not 
stop between London and Brewster. There was a bullet in his head, 


and his money was gone, pointing plainly to murder and robbery." 

"And where is the mystery, might I ask?" 

"There are several unexplainable things about the case. First, 
how came he on the Scotch Express, which leaves at six, and does 
not stop at Pegram? Second, the ticket examiners at the terminus 
would have turned him out if he showed his season ticket; and all 
the tickets sold for the Scotch Express on the 21 st are accounted for. 
Third, how could the murderer have escaped ? Fourth, the passengers 
in two compartments on each side of the one where the body was 
found heard no scuffle and no shot fired." 

"Are you sure the Scotch Express on the 2ist did not stop between 
London and Brewster?" 

"Now that you mention the fact, it did. It was stopped by signal 
just outside of Pegram. There was a few moments' pause, when the 
line was reported clear, and it went on again. This frequently hap- 
pens, as there is a branch line beyond Pegram." 

Mr. Sherlaw Kombs pondered for a few moments, smoking his 
pipe silently. 

"I presume you wish the solution in time for to-morrow's paper?" 

"Bless my soul, no. The editor thought if you evolved a theory 
in a month you would do well." 

"My dear sir, I do not deal with theories, but with facts. If you can 
make it convenient to call here to-morrow at 8 A.M. I will give you the 
full particulars early enough for the first edition. There is no sense in 
taking up much time over so simple an affair as the Pegram case. 
Good afternoon, sir." 

Mr. Scribbings was too much astonished to return the greeting. He 
left in a speechless condition, and I saw him go up the street with 
his hat still in his hand. 

Sherlaw Kombs relapsed into his old lounging attitude, with his 
hands clasped behind his head. The smoke came from his lips in 
quick puffs at first, then at longer intervals. I saw he was coming to 
a conclusion, so I said nothing. 

Finally he spoke in his most dreamy manner. "I do not wish to seem 
to be rushing things at all, Whatson, but I am going out to-night on 
the Scotch Express. Would you care to accompany me?" 

"Bless me!" I cried, glancing at the clock. "You haven't time, it 
is after five now." 


"Ample time, Whatson ample," he murmured, without chang- 
ing his position. "I give myself a minute and a half to change slippers 
and dressing-gown for boots and coat, three seconds for hat, twenty- 
five seconds to the street, forty-two seconds waiting for a hansom, 
and then seven minutes at the terminus before the express starts. I 
shall be glad of your company." 

I was only too happy to have the privilege of going with him. It 
was most interesting to watch the workings of so inscrutable a mind. 
As we drove under the lofty iron roof of the terminus I noticed 
a look of annoyance pass over his face. 

"We are fifteen seconds ahead of our time," he remarked, looking 
at the big clock. "I dislike having a miscalculation of that sort occur." 

The great Scotch Express stood ready for its long journey. The 
detective tapped one of the guards on the shoulder. 

"You have heard of the so-called Pegram mystery, I presume?" 

"Certainly, sir. It happened on this very train, sir." 

"Really? Is the same carriage still on the train?" 

"Well, yes, sir, it is," replied the guard, lowering his voice, "but of 
course, sir, we have to keep very quiet about it. People wouldn't 
travel in it, else, sir." 

"Doubtless. Do you happen to know if anybody occupies the com- 
partment in which the body was found?" 

"A lady and gentleman, sir; I put 'em in myself, sir." 

"Would you further oblige me," said the detective, deftly slipping 
half a sovereign into the hand of the guard, "by going to the window 
and informing them in an offhand casual sort of way that the tragedy 
took place in that compartment?" 

"Certainly, sir." 

We followed the guard, and the moment he had imparted his 
news there was a suppressed scream in the carriage. Instantly a lady 
came out, followed by a florid-faced gentleman, who scowled at the 
guard. We entered the now empty compartment, and Kombs said: 

"We would like to be alone here until we reach Brewster." 

"I'll see to that, sir," answered the guard, locking the door. 

When the official moved away, I asked my friend what he expected 
to find in the carriage that would cast any light on the case. 

"Nothing," was his brief reply. 

"Then why do you come?" 


"Merely to corroborate the conclusions I have already arrived at." 

"And might I ask what those conclusions are?" 

"Certainly," replied the detective, with a touch of lassitude in his 
voice. "I beg to call your attention, first, to the fact that this train 
stands between two platforms, and can be entered from either side. 
Any man familiar with the station for years would be aware of that 
fact. This shows how Mr. Kipson entered the train just before it 


"But the door on this side is locked," I objected, trying it. 

"Of course. But every season ticket holder carries a key. This ac- 
counts for the guard not seeing him, and for the absence of a ticket. 
Now let me give you some information about the influenza. The 
patient's temperature rises several degrees above normal, and he has 
a fever. When the malady has run its course, the temperature falls to 
three quarters of a degree below normal. These facts are unknown to 
you, I imagine, because you are a doctor." 

I admitted such was the case. 

"Well, the consequence of this fall in temperature is that the 
convalescent's mind turns towards thoughts of suicide. Then is the 
time he should be watched by his friends. Then was the time 
Mr. Barrie Kipson's friends did not watch him. You remember 
the 2ist, of course. No? It was a most depressing day. Fog all around 
and mud under foot. Very good. He resolves on suicide. He wishes 
to be unidentified, if possible, but forgets his season ticket. My ex- 
perience is that a man about to commit a crime always forgets some- 

"But how do you account for the disappearance ot the money.-' 

"The money has nothing to do with the matter. If he was a deep 
man, and knew the stupidness of Scotland Yard, he probably sent 
the notes to an enemy. If not, they may have been given to a friend. 
Nothing is more calculated to prepare the mind for self-destruction 
than the prospect of a night ride on the Scotch Express, and the view 
from the windows of the train as it passes through the northern part 
of London is particularly conducive to thoughts of annihilation." 
"What became of the weapon?" 

"That is just the point on which I wish to satisfy myself. Excuse 
me for a moment." 
Mr. Sherlaw Kombs drew down the window on the right-hand 


side, and examined the top of the casing minutely with a magnifying 
glass. Presently he heaved a sigh of relief, and drew up the sash. 

"Just as I expected," he remarked, speaking more to himself than 
to me. "There is a slight dent on the top of the window frame. It is of 
such a nature as to be made only by the trigger of a pistol falling from 
the nerveless hand of a suicide. He intended to throw the weapon 
far out of the window, but had not the strength. It might have 
fallen into the carriage. As a matter of fact, it bounced away from the 
line and lies among the grass about ten feet six inches from the out- 
side rail. The only question that now remains is where the deed was 
committed, and the exact present position of the pistol reckoned in 
miles from London, but that, fortunately, is too simple even to need 

"Great heavens, Sherlaw!" I cried. "How can you call that simple? 
It seems to me impossible to compute." 

We were now flying over northern London, and the great detective 
leaned back with every sign of ennui, closing his eyes. At last he 
spoke wearily: 

"It is really too elementary, Whatson, but I am always willing to 
oblige a friend. I shall be relieved, however, when you are able to 
work out the A B C of detection for yourself, although I shall never 
object to helping you with the words of more than three syllables. 
Having made up his mind to commit suicide, Kipson naturally in- 
tended to do it before he reached Brewster, because tickets are again 
examined at that point. When the train began to stop at the signal 
near Pegram, he came to the false conclusion that it was stopping at 
Brewster. The fact that the shot was not heard is accounted for by 
the screech of the air-brake, added to the noise of the train. Probably 
the whistle was also sounding at the same moment. The train being 
a fast express would stop as near the signal as possible. The air-brake 
will stop a train in twice its own length. Call it three times in this 
case. Very well. At three times the length of this train from the signal- 
post towards London, deducting half the length of the train, as this 
carriage is in the middle, you will find the pistol." 

"Wonderful!" I exclaimed. 

"Commonplace," he murmured. 

At this moment the whistle sounded shrilly, and we felt the grind 
of the air-brakes. 


"The Pegram signal again," cried Kombs, with something almost 
like enthusiasm. "This is indeed luck. We will get out here, Whatson, 
and test the matter." 

As the train stopped, we got out on the right-hand side of the line. 
The engine stood panting impatiently under the red light, which 
changed to green as I looked at it. As the train moved on with in- 
creasing speed, the detective counted the carriages, and noted down 
the number. It was now dark, with the thin crescent of the moon 
hanging in the western sky throwing a weird half-light on the shining 
metals. The rear lamps of the train disappeared around a curve, and 
the signal stood at baleful red again. The black magic of the lone- 
some night in that strange place impressed me, but the detective was 
a most practical man. He placed his back against the signal-post, 
and paced up the line with even strides, counting his steps. I walked 
along the permanent way beside him silently. At last he stopped, and 
took a tape-line from his pocket. He ran it out until the ten feet six 
inches were unrolled, scanning the figures in the wan light of the 
new moon. Giving me the end, he placed his knuckles on the metals, 
motioning me to proceed down the embankment. I stretched out 
the line, and then sank my hand in the damp grass to mark the spot. 

"Good God!" I cried, aghast. "What is this?" 

"It is the pistol," said Kombs quietly. 

It was! 

Journalistic London will not soon forget the sensation that was 
caused by the record of the investigations of Sherlaw Kombs, as 
printed at length in the next day's Evening Blade. Would that my 
story ended here. Alas! Kombs contemptuously turned over the pistol 
to Scotland Yard. The meddlesome officials, actuated, as I always 
hold, by jealousy, found the name of the seller upon it. They in- 
vestigated. The seller testified that it had never been in the possession 
of Mr. Kipson, as far as he knew. It was sold to a man whose 
description tallied with that of a criminal long watched by the police. 
He was arrested, and turned Queen's evidence in the hope of hang- 
ing his pal. It seemed that Mr. Kipson, who was a gloomy, taciturn 
man, and usually came home in a compartment by himself, thus 
escaping observation, had been murdered in the lane leading to his 
house. After robbing him, the miscreants turned their thoughts 


towards the disposal of the body a subject that always occupies a 
first-class criminal mind after the deed is done. They agreed to 
place it on the line, and have it mangled by the Scotch Express, then 
nearly due. Before they got the body half-way up the embankment 
the express came along and stopped. The guard got out and walked 
along the other side to speak with the engineer. The thought of put- 
ting the body into an empty first-class carriage instantly occurred to 
the murderers. They opened the door with the deceased's key. It is 
supposed that the pistol dropped when they were hoisting the body 
in the carriage. 

The Queen's evidence dodge didn't work, and Scotland Yard 
ignobly insulted my friend Sherlaw Kombs by sending him a pass 
to see the villains hanged. 





Maurice Leblanc, creator of Arsene Lupin, conceived the bril- 
liant idea of pitting his master rogue against the world's greatest 
detective. The opening skirmish occurred in the last story of 
THE EXPLOITS OF ARSENE LUPIN (New Yort(, Harper, 7907). It 
is this tale "Holmloc\ Shears Arrives Too Late' -that we 
now bring you. Happily for posterity, Holmloc{ Shears did 
not arrive too late! 

Readers may be curious to \now the farther development of 
this epic conflict Holmes vs. Lupin, The second duel, as- 
suming grander proportions, required a full-length novel to 
recount all the delicious details. This novel appeared in Eng- 
land as THE FAIR-HAIRED LADY (London, Richards, 1909), was 
almost immediately retitled ARSENE LUPIN VERSUS HOLMLOCK 
SHEARS (London, Richards, 1909), and was reincarnated in the 
United States as THE BLONDE LADY (New Yor\, Doubleday, 

Page, 79/0). 

Of the final page in this boo\, T. S. Eliot, the famous poet, 
has as{ed: "What greater compliment could France pay to 
England than the scene in which the great antagonists, Holmes 
and Lupin, are lying side by side on dec^-chairs on the Calais- 
Dover paquebot, and the London Commissioner of Police 
wal{s up and down the dec\ all unsuspecting?'" 

The third and last contest too\ place in the closing chapter 
of the novel, THE HOLLOW NEEDLE (New Yor{, Doubleday, Page, 
1910; London, Nash, 1911). "The encounter appeared all the 
more terrible inasmuch as it was silent, almost solemn. For 
long moments the two enemies too{ each other's measure with 
their eyes" 

In the final desperate struggle, when Shears was aiming his 


revolver at Lupin, the woman who loved the great Arsene flung 
herself between the two men. The shot intended for Lupin 
filled her, and the scene that followed is one of the most tragic 
in all detective literature. "Night began to cover the field of 
battle with a shroud of darkness. . . . Then Lupin bent down, 
too\ the dead woman in his powerful arms . . . and bearing 
his precious and awful burden . . . silent and fierce he turned 
toward the sea and plunged into the darkness of the night." 
So ended the death-struggle between the two great masters. 

A point of explanation about the various names under which 
Sherloc^ Holmes appears in the Lupin saga: The original 
French version is Herlock Sholmes. This was changed in 
English editions to Holmloc^ Shears. Both forms have been 
used in American booths Holmloc\ Shears in the Harper 
editions, and Herloc^ Sholmes (without the accent} in the 
Donohue and Ogilvie reprints. 

But Shears or Sholmes, he is the only detective whom Leblanc 
considered a worthy adversary for his clever and resourceful 
Arsene. For while Lupin consistently vanquished Ganimard, 
Guerchard, and all the other Gallic sleuths, he never achieved 
more than a draw against the great Englishman a monu- 
mental tribute indeed from that true French gentleman, M. 
Leblanc, who for a time controlled the destiny of Britain's man 
of the ages. 


T'S REALLY curious, your likeness to Arsene Lupin, my dear Vel- 

"Do you know him?" 

"Oh, just as everybody does by his photographs, not one of 
which in the least resembles the others; but they all leave the impres- 
sion of the same face . . . which is undoubtedly yours." 

Horace Velmont seemed rather annoyed. 

"I suppose you're right, Devanne. You're not the first to tell me 
of it, I assure you." 

"Upon my word," persisted Devanne, "if you had not been intro- 


duced to me by my cousin d'Estavan, and if you were not the well- 
known painter whose charming seapieces I admire so much, I'm not 
sure but that I should have informed the police of your presence at 

The sally was received with general laughter. There were gathered, 
in the great dining room of Thibermesnil Castle, in addition to Vel- 
mont, the Abbe Gelis, rector of the village, and a dozen officers 
whose regiments were taking part in the maneuvers in the neigh- 
borhood, and who had accepted the invitation of Georges Devanne, 
the banker, and his mother. One of them exclaimed : 

"But, I say, wasn't Arsene Lupin seen on the coast after his famous 
performance in the train between Paris and Le Havre?" 

"Just so, three months ago; and the week after that I made the 
acquaintance, at the Casino, of our friend Velmont here, who has 
since honored me with a few visits: an agreeable preliminary to a 
more serious call which I presume he means to pay me one of these 
days ... or, rather, one of these nights!" 

The company laughed once more, and moved into the old guard- 
room a huge, lofty hall which, occupies the whole of the lower 
portion of the Tour Guillaume, and in which Georges Devanne has 
arranged all the incomparable treasures accumulated through the 
centuries by the lords of Thibermesnil. It is filled and adorned with 
old chests and credence tables, fire dogs and candelabra. Splendid 
tapestries hang on the stone walls. The deep embrasures of the four 
windows are furnished with seats and end in pointed casements with 
leaded panes. Between the door and the window on the left stands 
a monumental Renaissance bookcase, on the pediment of which is 
inscribed, in gold letters, the word THIBERMESNIL and underneath it 
die proud motto of the family: Fats ce que veulx. 

And as they were lighting their cigars, Devanne added: 

"But you will have to hurry, Velmont, for this is the last night on 
which you will have a chance." 

"And why the last night?" said die painter, who certainly took 
the jest in very good part. 

Devanne was about to reply when his mother made signs to him. 
But die excitement of the dinner and the wish to interest his guests 
were too much for him : 


"Pooh!" he muttered. "Why shouldn't I tell them? There's no 
indiscretion to be feared now." 

They sat round him, filled with a lively curiosity, and he declared, 
with the self-satisfied air of a man announcing a great piece of news : 

"Tomorrow, at four o'clock in the afternoon, I shall have here, 
as my guest, Holmlock Shears, the great English detective, for whom 
no mystery exists, the most extraordinary solver of riddles that has 
ever been known, the wonderful individual who might have been the 
creation of a novelist's brain." 

There was a general exclamation. Holmlock Shears at Thiber- 
mesnil! The thing was serious, then? Was Arsene Lupin really in 
the district? 

"Arsene Lupin and his gang are not very far away. Without count- 
ing Baron Cahorn's mishap, to whom are we to ascribe the daring 
burglaries at Montigny and Gruchet and Crasville if not to our 
national thief? Today it's my turn." 

"And have you had a warning, like Baron Cahorn?" 

"The same trick does not succeed twice." 

"Then . . ." 

"Look here." 

He rose, and, pointing to a little empty space between two tall 
folios on one of the shelves of the bookcase, said: 

"There was a book here a sixteenth-century book, entitled The 
Chronicles of Thibermesnil which was the history of the castle 
since the time of its construction by Duke Rollo, on the site of a 
feudal fortress. It contained three engraved plates. One of them 
presented a general view of the domain as a whole; the second a plan 
of the building; and the third I call your special attention to this 
the sketch of an underground passage, one of whose outlets opens 
outside the first line of the ramparts, while the other ends here yes, 
in this very hall where we are sitting. Now this book disappeared 
last month." 

"By Jove!" said Velmont. "That's a bad sign. Only it's not enough 
to justify the intervention of Holmlock Shears." 

"Certainly it would not have been enough if another fact had 
not come to give its full significance to that which I have just told 
you. There was a second copy of the chronicle in the Bibliotheque 


Nationale, and the two copies differed in certain details concerning 
the underground passage, such as the addition of a sectional drawing, 
and a scale and a number of notes, not printed, but written in ink 
and more or less obliterated. I knew of these particulars, and I knew 
that the definite sketch could not be reconstructed except by carefully 
collating the two plans. Well, on the day after that on which my copy 
disappeared the one in the Bibliotheque Nation-ale was applied for 
by a reader who carried it off without leaving any clue as to the man- 
ner in which the theft had been effected." 

These words were greeted with many exclamations. 

"This time the affair grows serious." 

"Yes; and this time," said Devanne, "the police were roused, and 
there was a double inquiry which, however, led to no result." 

"Like all those aimed at Arsene Lupin." 

"Exactly. It then occurred to me to write and ask for the help of 
Holmlock Shears, who replied that he had the keenest wish to come 
into contact with Arsene Lupin." 

"What an honor for Arsene Lupin!" said Velmont. "But if our 
national thief, as you call him, should not be contemplating a project 
upon Thibermesnil, then there will be nothing for Holmlock Shears 
to do but twiddle his thumbs." 

"There is another matter which is sure to interest him: the dis- 
covery of the underground passage." 

"Why, you told us that one end opened in the fields and the other 
here, m the guardroom!" 

"Yes, but in what part of it? The line that represents the tunnel 
on the plans finishes, at one end, at a little circle accompanied by the 
initials T.G., which, of course, stand for Tour Guillaume. But it's 
a round tower, and who can decide at which point in the circle 
the line in the drawing touches?" 

Devanne lit a second cigar, and poured himself out a glass of 
Benedictine. The others pressed him with questions. He smiled with 
pleasure at the interest which he had aroused. At last, he said: 

"The secret is lost. Not a person in the world knows it. The story 
says that the high and mighty lords handed it down to one another, 
on their death-beds, from father to son, until the day when Geoffrey, 
the last of the name, lost his head on the scaffold, on the seventh of 
Thermidor, Year Second, in the nineteenth year of his age." 


"Yes, but more than a century has passed since then; and it must 
have been looked for." 

"It has been looked for, but in vain. I myself, after I bought the 
castle from the great-grandnephew of Leribourg of the National 
Convention, had excavations made. What was the good ? Remember 
that this tower is surrounded by water on every side, and only joined 
to the castle by a bridge, and that, consequently, the tunnel must 
pass under the old' moats. The plan in the Bibliotheque Nationale 
shows a series of four staircases, comprising forty-eight steps, which 
allows for a depth of over ten yards, and the scale annexed to the 
other plan fixes the length at two hundred yards. As a matter of fact, 
the whole problem lies here, between this floor, that ceiling, and these 
walls; and, upon my word, I do not feel inclined to have them pulled 

"And is there no clue?" 

"Not one." 

The Abbe Gelis objected. 

"Monsieur Devanne, we have to reckon with two quotations . . ." 

"Oh," cried Devanne, laughing, "the rector is a great rummager of 
family papers, a great reader of memoirs, and he fondly loves every- 
thing that has to do with Thibermesnil. But the explanation to which 
he refers only serves to confuse matters." 

"But tell us what it is." 

"Do you really care to hear?" 


"Well, you must know that, as the result of his reading, he has 
discovered that two kings of France held the key to the riddle." 

"Two kings of France?" 

"Henry IV and Louis XVI." 

"Two famous men. And how did the rector find out?" 

"Oh, it's very simple," continued Devanne. "Two days before the 
Battle of Arques, King Henry IV came to sup and sleep in the castle, 
and on this occasion Duke Edgar confided the family secret to him. 
This secret Henry IV revealed later to Sully, his minister, who tells 
the story in his Royales Oeconomies d'Etat, without adding any com- 
ment besides this incomprehensible phrase: 'La hache tournoie dans 
I' air qui fremit, mats I'aile s'ouvre et I' on va jusqu'a Dieu.' ' 

A silence followed, and Velmont remarked : 


"It's not as clear as daylight, is it?" 

"That's what I say. The rector maintains that Sully set down the 
key to the puzzle by means of those words, without betraying the 
secret to the scribes to whom he dictated his memoirs." 

"It's an ingenious supposition." 

"True. But what is the ax that turns? What bird is it whose wing 

"And who goes to God?" 

"Goodness knows!" 

"And what about our good King Louis XVI?" asked Velmont. 

"Louis XVI stayed at Thibermesnil in 1784, and the famous Iron 
Cupboard discovered at the Louvre on the information of Gamain, 
the locksmith, contained a paper with these words written in the 
king's hand: Thibermesnil, 2-6-12" 

Horace Velmont laughed aloud. 

"Victory! The darkness is dispelled. Twice six are twelve!" 

"Laugh as you please, sir," said the rector. "Those two quotations 
contain the solution for all that, and one of these days someone will 
come along who knows how to interpret them." 

"Holmlock Shears, first of all," said Devanne, "unless Arsene 
Lupin forestalls him. What do you think, Velmont?" 

Velmont rose, laid his hand on Devanne's shoulder, and declared: 

"I think that the data supplied by your book and the copy in the 
Bibliotheque Nationale lacked just one link of the highest importance, 
and that you have been kind enough to supply it. I am much obliged 
to you." 

"Well . . ." 

"Well, now that the ax has turned and the bird flown, and that 
twice six are twelve, all I have to do is to set to work." 

"Without losing a minute?" 

"Without losing a second! You see, I must rob your castle tonight, 
that is to say, before Holmlock Shears arrives." 

"You're quite right; you have only just got time. Would you like 
me to drive you?" 

"To Dieppe?" 

"Yes, I may as well fetch Monsieur and Madame d'Androl and 
a girl friend of theirs, who are arriving by the midnight train." 

Then, turning to the officers: 


"We shall all meet here at lunch tomorrow, shan't we, gentlemen ? 
I rely upon you, for the castle is to be invested by your regiments 
and taken by assault at eleven in the morning." 

The invitation was accepted, the officers took their leave, and a 
minute later a powerful motorcar was carrying Devanne and Vel- 
mont along the Dieppe road. Devanne dropped the painter at the 
Casino, and went on to the station. 

His friends arrived at midnight, and at half-past twelve the motor 
passed through the gates of Thibermesnil. At one o'clock, after a 
light supper served in the drawing room, everyone went to bed. The 
lights were extinguished one by one. The deep silence of the night 
enshrouded the castle. 

But the moon pierced the clouds that veiled it, and, through two 
of the windows, filled the hall with the light of its white beams. This 
lasted for but a moment. Soon the moon was hidden behind the 
curtain of the hills, and all was darkness. The silence increased as 
the shadows thickened. At most it was disturbed, from time to time, 
by the creaking of the furniture or the rustling of the reeds in the 
pond which bathes the old walls with its green waters. 

The clock told the endless beads of its seconds. It struck two. Then 
once more the seconds fell hastily and monotonously in the heavy 
stillness of the night. Then three struck. 

And suddenly something gave a clash, like the arm of a railway 
signal that drops as a train passes, and a thin streak of light crossed 
the hall from one end to the other, like an arrow, leaving a glittering 
track behind it. It issued from the central groove of a pilaster against 
which the pediment of the bookcase rests upon the right. It first 
lingered upon the opposite panel in a dazzling circle, next wandered 
on every side like a restless glance searching the darkness, and then 
faded away, only to appear once more, while the whole of one sec- 
tion of the bookcase turned upon its axis, and revealed a wide opening 
shaped like a vault. 

A man entered, holding an electric lantern in his hand. Another 
man and a third emerged, carrying a coil of rope and different im- 
plements. The first man looked round the room, listened, and said: 

"Call the pals." 

Eight of these pals came out of the underground passage eight 


strapping fellows, with determined faces. And the removal began. 

It did not take long. Arsene Lupin passed from one piece of 
furniture to another, examined it, and, according to its size or its 
artistic value, spared it or gave an order: 

"Take it away." 

And the piece in question was removed, swallowed by the yawning 
mouth of the tunnel, and sent down into the bowels of the earth. 

And thus were juggled away six Louis XV armchairs and as many 
occasional chairs, a number of Aubusson tapestries, some candelabra 
signed by Gouthiere, two Fragonards and a Nattier, a bust by Hou- 
don, and some statuettes. At times Arsene Lupin would stop before 
a magnificent oak chest or a splendid picture and sigh : 

"That's too heavy . . . Too big ... What a pity!" 

And he would continue his expert survey. 

In forty minutes the hall was "cleared," to use Arsene's expression. 
And all this was accomplished in an admirably orderly manner, with- 
out the least noise, as though all the objects which the men were 
handling had been wrapped in thick wadding. 

To the last man who was leaving, carrying a clock signed by Boule, 
he said : 

"You need not come back. You understand, don't you, that as soon 
as the motor van is loaded you're to make for the barn at Roquefort?" 

"What about yourself, governor?" 

"Leave me the motorcycle." 

When the man had gone he pushed the movable section of the 
bookcase back into its place, and, after clearing away the traces of 
the removal and the footmarks, he raised a curtain and entered a 
gallery which served as a communication between the tower and 
the castle. Halfway down the gallery stood a glass case, and it was 
because of this case that Arsene Lupin had continued his investiga- 

It contained marvels: a unique collection of watches, snuffboxes, 
rings, chatelaines, miniatures of the most exquisite workmanship. 
He forced the lock with a jimmy, and it was an unspeakable pleasure 
to him to finger those gems of gold and silver, those precious and 
dainty little works of art. 

Hanging round his neck was a large canvas bag specially contrived 


to hold these windfalls. He filled it. He also filled the pockets of his 
jacket, waistcoat, and trousers. And he was stuffing under his left 
arm a heap of those pearl reticules beloved of our ancestors and so 
eagerly sought after by our present fashion . . . when a slight sound 
fell upon his ear. 

He listened; he was not mistaken; the noise became clearer. 

And suddenly he remembered. At the end of the gallery an inner 
staircase led to a room which had been hitherto unoccupied, but 
which had been allotted that evening to the young girl whom De- 
vanne had gone to meet at Dieppe with his friends the d'Androls. 

With a quick movement he pressed the spring of his lantern and 
extinguished it. He had just time to hide in the recess of a window 
when the door at the top of the staircase opened and the gallery was 
lit by a faint gleam. 

He had a feeling for, half-hidden behind a curtain, he could 
not see that a figure was cautiously descending the top stairs. He 
hoped that it would come no farther. It continued, however, and 
took several steps into the gallery. But it gave a cry. It must have 
caught sight of the broken case, three quarters emptied of its con- 

By the scent he recognized the presence of a woman. Her dress 
almost touched the curtain that concealed him, and he seemed to 
hear her heart beating, while she must needs herself perceive the 
presence of another person behind her in the dark, within reach of 
her hand. He said to himself: 

"She's frightened . . . she'll go back ... she is bound to go back." 

She did not go back. The candle shaking in her hand became 
steadier. She turned round, hesitated for a moment, appeared to 
be listening to the alarming silence, and then, with a sudden move- 
ment, pulled back the curtain. 

Their eyes met. 

Arsene murmured, in confusion: 

"You . . . you . . . Miss Underwood!" 

It was Nellie Underwood, the passenger on the Provence, the 
girl who had mingled her dreams with his during that never-to-be- 
forgotten crossing, who had witnessed his arrest, and who, rather 
than betray him, had generously flung into the sea the kodak in 


which he had hidden the stolen jewels and banknotes! ... It was 
Nellie Underwood, whose image had so often saddened or gladdened 
his long hours spent in prison! 

So extraordinary was their chance meeting in this castle and at 
that hour of the night that they did not stir, did not utter a word, 
dumfounded and, as it were, hypnotized by the fantastic apparition 
which each of them presented to the other's eyes. 

Nellie, shattered with emotion, staggered to a seat. 

He remained standing in front of her. And gradually, as the in- 
terminable seconds passed, he became aware of the impression which 
he must be making at that moment, with his arms loaded widi curi- 
osities, his pockets stuffed, his bag filled to bursting. A great sense 
of confusion mastered him, and he blushed to find himself there in 
the mean plight of a robber caught in the act. To her henceforth, 
come what might, he was the thief, the man who puts his hand 
into other men's pockets, the man who picks locks and enters doors 
by stealth. 

One of the watches rolled upon the carpet, followed by another. 
And more things came slipping from under his arms, which were 
unable to retain them. Then, quickly making up his mind, he 
dropped a part of his booty into a chair, emptied his pockets, and 
took off his bag. 

He now felt easier in Nellie's presence, and took a step towards 
her, with the intention of speaking to her. But she made a movement 
of recoil and rose quickly, as though seized with fright, and ran to 
the guardroom. The curtain fell behind her. He followed her. She 
stood there, trembling and speechless, and her eyes gazed in terror 
upon the great devastated hall. 

Without a moment's hesitation, he said: 

"At three o'clock tomorrow everything shall be restored to its 
place. . . . The things shall be brought back." 

She did not reply; and he repeated: 

"At three o'clock tomorrow, I give you my solemn pledge. . . . 
No power on earth shall prevent me from keeping my promise. . . . 
At three o'clock tomorrow." 

A long silence weighed upon them both. He dared not break it, 
and the girl's emotion made him suffer in every nerve. Softly, with- 
out a word, he moved away. 


And he thought to himself: 

"She must go!. . . She must feel that she is free to go! ... She 
must not be afraid of me! . . ." 

But suddenly she started, and stammered: 

"Footsteps! ... I hear someone coming . . ." 

He looked at her with surprise. She appeared distraught, as though 
at the approach of danger. 

"I hear nothing," he said, "and, even so . . ." 

"Why, you must fly! ... Quick, fly! . . ." 

"Fly . . . why?" 

"You must! . . . You must! . . . Ah, don't stay!" 

She rushed to the entrance to the gallery and listened. No, there 
was no one there. Perhaps the sound had come from the outside. . . . 
She waited a second, and then, reassured, turned round. 

Arsene Lupin had disappeared. 

Devanne's first thought, on ascertaining that his castle had been 
pillaged, found expression in the words which he spoke to himself: 

"This is Velmont's work, and Velmont is none odier than Arsene 

All was explained by this means, and nothing could be explained 
by any other. And yet the idea only just passed through his mind, 
for it seemed almost impossible that Velmont should not be Velmont 
that is to say, the well-known painter, the club friend of his cousin 
d'Estavan. And when the sergeant of gendarmes had been sent for 
and arrived, Devanne did not even think of telling him of this ab- 
surd conjecture. 

The whole of that morning was spent, at Thibermesnil, in an 
indescribable hubbub. The gendarmes, the rural police, the commis- 
sary of police from Dieppe, the inhabitants of the village thronged 
the passages, the park, the approaches to the castle. The arrival of 
the troops taking part in the maneuvers and the crack of the rifles 
added to the picturesqueness of the scene. 

The early investigations furnished no clue. The windows had not 
been broken nor the doors smashed in. There was no doubt but that 
the removal had been effected through the secret outlet. And yet 
there was no trace of footsteps on the carpet, no unusual mark upon 
the walls. 


There was one unexpected thing, however, which clearly pointed 
to the fanciful methods of Arsene Lupin: the famous sixteenth- 
century chronicle had been restored to its old place in the bookcase, 
and beside it stood a similar volume, which was none other than 
the copy stolen from the Bibliotheque Nationale. 

The officers arrived at eleven. Devanne received them gayly; how- 
ever annoyed he might feel at the loss of his artistic treasures, his 
fortune was large enough to enable him to bear it without showing 
ill-humor. His friends the d'Androls and Nellie came down from 
their rooms, and the officers were introduced. 

One of the guests was missing: Horace Velmont. Was he not 
coming? He walked in upon the stroke of twelve, and Devanne 
exclaimed : 

"Good! There you are at last!" 

"Am I late?" 

"No, but you might have been . . . after such an exciting night! 
You have heard the news, I suppose?" 

"What news?" 

"You robbed the castle last night." 


"I tell you, you did. But give your arm to Miss Underwood, and 
let us go in to lunch . . . Miss Underwood, let me introduce . 

He stopped, struck by the confusion on the girl's features. Then, 
seized with a sudden recollection, he said: 

"By the way, of course, you once traveled on the same ship with 
Arsene Lupin . . . before his arrest. . . . You are surprised by the 
likeness, are you not?" 

She did not reply. Velmont stood before her, smiling. He bowed; 
she took his arm. He led her to her place, and sat down opposite to 
her. . . . 

During lunch they talked of nothing but Arsene Lupin, the stolen 
furniture, the underground passage, and Holmlock Shears. Not until 
the end of the meal, when other subjects were broached, did Velmont 
join in the conversation. He was amusing and serious, eloquent and 
witty, by turns. And whatever he said he appeared to say with the 
sole object of interesting Nellie. She, wholly engrossed in her own 
thoughts, seemed not to hear him. 

Coffee was served on the terrace overlooking the courtyard and 


the French garden in front of the castle. The regimental band played 
on the lawn, and a crowd of peasants and soldiers strolled about the 
walks in the park. 

Nellie was thinking of Arsene Lupin's promise: 

"At three o'clock everything will be there. I give you my solemn 

At three o'clock! And the hands of the great clock in the right 
wing pointed to twenty to three. In spite of herself, she kept on 
looking at it. And she also looked at Velmont, who was swinging 
peacefully in a comfortable rocking chair. 

Ten minutes to three . . . five minutes to three ... A sort of 
impatience, mingled with a sense of exquisite pain, racked the young 
girl's mind. Was it possible for the miracle to be accomplished and 
to be accomplished at the fixed time, when the castle, the courtyard, 
and the country around were filled with people, and when, at that 
very moment, the public prosecutor and the examining magistrate 
were pursuing their investigations? 

And still . . . still, Arsene Lupin had given such a solemn 

"It will happen just as he said," she thought, impressed by all the 
man's energy, authority, and certainty. 

And it seemed to her no longer a miracle, but a natural event that 
was bound to take place in the ordinary course of things. 

For a second their eyes met. She blushed, and turned away her 

Three o'clock. . . . The first stroke rang out, the second, the third. 
. . . Horace Velmont took out his watch, glanced up at the clock, 
and put his watch back in his pocket. A few seconds elapsed. And 
then the crowd opened out around the lawn to make way for two 
carriages that had just passed through the park gates, each drawn 
by two horses. They were two of those regimental wagons which 
carry the cooking utensils of the officers' mess and the soldiers' kits. 
They stopped in front of the steps. A quartermaster sergeant jumped 
down from the box of the first wagon and asked for M. Devanne. 

Devanne ran down the steps. Under the awnings, carefully packed 
and wrapped up, were his pictures, his furniture, his works of art 
of all kinds. 

The sergeant replied to the questions put to him by producing 


the order which the adjutant on duty had given him, and which the 
adjutant himself had received that morning in the orderly room. The 
order stated that No. 2 Company of the Fourth Battalion was to 
see that the goods and chattels deposited at the Halleux crossroads, 
in the Forest of Arques, were delivered at three o'clock to M. Georges 
Devanne, the owner of Thibermesnil Castle. It bore the signature 
of Colonel Beauvel. 

"I found everything ready for us at the crossroads," added the 
sergeant, "laid out on the grass, under the charge of ... anyone 
passing. That struck me as queer, but ... well, sir, the order was 
plain enough!" 

One of the officers examined the signature: it was a perfect copy, 

but forged. 

The band had stopped. The wagons were emptied, and the furni- 
ture carried indoors. 

In the midst of this excitement Nellie Underwood was left stand- 
ing alone at one end of the terrace. She was grave and anxious, full 
of vague thoughts, which she did not seek to formulate. Suddenly 
she saw Velmont coming up to her. She wished to avoid him, but 
the corner of the balustrade that borders the terrace hemmed her in 
on two sides, and a row of great tubs of shrubs orange trees, laurels, 
and bamboos left her no other way of escape than that by which 
Velmont was approaching. She did not move. A ray of sunlight 
quivered on her golden hair, shaken by the frail leaves of a bamboo 
plant. She heard a soft voice say : 

"I have kept the promise I made you last night." 

Arsene Lupin stood by her side, and there was no one else near 


He repeated, in a hesitating attitude and a timid voice : 

"I have kept the promise I made you last night." 

He expected a word of thanks, a gesture at least, to prove the 
interest which she took in his action. She was silent. 

Her scorn irritated Arsene Lupin, and at the same time he received 
a profound sense of all that separated him from Nellie, now that 
she knew the truth. He would have liked to exonerate himself, to 
seek excuses, to show his life in its bolder and greater aspects. But 
the words jarred upon him before they were uttered, and he felt the 
absurdity and the impertinence of any explanation. 


He gave a bitter smile: 

"You are right," he said. "What has been will always be. Arsene 
Lupin is and can be no one but Arsene Lupin; and not even a 
memory can exist between you and him . . . Forgive me ... I 
ought to have understood that my very presence near you must seem 
an outrage. . . ." 

He made way for her, hat in hand, and Nellie passed before him 
along the balustrade. He felt tempted to hold her back, to beseech 
her. His courage failed him, and he followed her with his eyes, as 
he had done on the day long past when she crossed the gangplank 
on their arrival at New York. She went up the stairs that led to the 
door. For another instant her dainty figure was outlined against the 
marble of the entrance hall. Then he saw her no more. 

"Come," he said to himself, "I have nothing more to do here. Let 
us see to our retreat. The more so as, if Holmlock Shears takes up 
the matter, it may become too hot for me." 

The park was deserted, save for a group of gendarmes standing 
near the lodge at the entrance. Lupin plunged into the shrubbery, 
scaled the wall, and took the nearest way to the station a path 
winding through the fields. He had been walking for eight or nine 
minutes when the road narrowed, boxed in between two slopes; 
and, as he reached this pass, he saw someone enter it at the opposite 

It was a man of perhaps middle age, powerfully built and clean- 
shaven, whose dress accentuated his foreign appearance. He carried a 
heavy walking-stick in his hand and a traveling bag slung round his 

The two men crossed each other. The foreigner asked, in a hardly 
perceptible English accent: 

"Excuse me, sir ... can you tell me the way to the castle?" 

"Straight on and turn to the left when you come to the foot of 
the wall. They are waiting for you impatiently." 


"Yes, my friend Devanne was announcing your visit to us last 

"He made a great mistake if he said too much." 

"And I am happy to be the first to pay you my compliments. 
Holmlock Shears has no greater admirer than myself." 


There was the slightest shade of irony in his voice, which he re- 
gretted forthwith, for Holmlock Shears took a view of him from 
head to foot with an eye at once so all-embracing and so piercing 
that Arsene Lupin felt himself seized, caught, and registered by that 
glance more exactly and more essentially than he had ever been by 
any photographic apparatus. 

"The snapshot's taken," he thought. "It will never be worth my 
while to disguise myself when this joker is about. Only ... did he 
recognize me or not?" 

They exchanged bows. But a noise of hoofs rang out, the clinking 
sound of horses trotting along the road. It was the gendarmes. The 
two men had to fall back against the slope, in the tall grass, to save 
themselves from being knocked over. The gendarmes passed, and 
as they were riding in single file, at quite a distance each from the 
other, this took some time. Lupin thought: 

"It all depends upon whether he recognized me. If so, does he 
intend to take his advantage? . . ." 

When the last horseman had passed, Holmlock Shears drew him- 
self up and, without saying a word, brushed the dust from his clothes. 
The strap of his bag had caught in a branch of thorns. Arsene Lupin 
hastened to release him. They looked at each other for another second. 
And if anyone could have surprised them at that moment he would 
have beheld a stimulating sight in the first meeting of these two men, 
both so out of the common, so powerfully armed, both really superior 
characters, and inevitably destined by their special aptitudes to come 
into collision, like two equal forces which the order of things drives 
one against the other in space. 
Then the Englishman said: 
"I am much obliged to you." 
"At your service," replied Lupin. 
They went their respective ways Lupin to the station, Holmlock 

Shears to the castle. 

The examining magistrate and the public prosecutor had left, after 
a long but fruitless investigation, and the others were awaiting 
Holmlock Shears with an amount of curiosity fully justified by his 
reputation. They were a little disappointed by his very ordinary ap- 
pearance, which was so different from the pictures which they had 


formed of him. There was nothing of the novel hero about him, 
nothing of the enigmatic and diabolical personality which the idea 
of Holmlock Shears evokes in us. However, Devanne exclaimed, 
with exuberant delight: 

"So you have come at last! This is indeed a joy! I have so long 
been hoping ... I am almost glad of what has happened, since it 
gives me the pleasure of seeing you. But, by the way, how did you 

"By train." 

"What a pity! I sent my motor to the landing stage to meet you 

"An official arrival, I suppose," growled the Englishman, "with a 
brass band marching ahead! An excellent way of helping me in my 

business." . 

This uninviting tone disconcerted Devanne, who, making an t 

fort to jest, retorted: 
"The business, fortunately, is easier than I wrote to you." 

"Why so?" 

"Because the burglary took place last night." 

"If you had not announced my visit beforehand, the burglary 
would probably have not taken place last night." 
"When would it?" 
"Tomorrow, or some other day." 
"And then?" 

"Arsene Lupin would have been caught in a trap." 
"And my things . . ." 
"Would not have been carried off." 
"My things are here." 
"They were brought back at three o'clock." 

"By Lupin?" 

"By a quartermaster sergeant, in two military wagons!' 1 
Holmlock Shears violently thrust his cap down upon his head and 
adjusted his bag; but Devanne, in a fever of excitement, exclaimed: 
"What are you doing?" 
"I am going." 
"Why should you?" 
"Your things are here. Arsene Lupin is gone. There is nothing 

left for me to do." 


"Why, my dear sir, I simply can't get on without you. What hap- 
pened last night may be repeated tomorrow, seeing that we know 
nothing of the most important part: how Arsene Lupin effected his 
entrance, how he left, and why, a few hours later, he proceeded to 
restore what he had stolen." 

"Oh, I see; you don't know . . ." The idea of a secret to be dis- 
covered mollified Holmlock Shears. "Very well, let's look into it. 
But at once, please, and, as far as possible, alone." 

The phrase clearly referred to the bystanders. Devanne took the 
hint, and showed the Englishman into the guardroom. Shears put 
a number of questions to him touching the previous evening, the 
guests who were present, and the inmates and frequenters of the 
castle. He next examined the two volumes of the Chronicle, compared 
the plans of the underground passage, made Devanne repeat the two 
sentences noted by the Abbe Gelis, and asked : 

"You're sure it was yesterday that you first spoke of those two 


"You had never mentioned them to Monsieur Horace Velmont?" 


"Very well. You might order your car. I shall leave in an hour." 

"In an hour?" 

"Arsene Lupin took no longer to solve the problem which you 
put to him." 

"I! . . . Which I put. to him?" 

"Why, yes, Arsene Lupin or Velmont, it's all the same." 

"I thought as much. . . . Oh, the rascal! . . ." 

"Well, at ten o'clock last night you supplied Lupin with the facts 
which he lacked, and which he had been seeking for weeks. And 
during the course of the night Lupin found time to grasp these facts, 
to collect his gang, and to rob you of your property. I propose to be 
no less expeditious." 

He walked from one end of the room to the other, thinking as 
he went, then sat down, crossed his long legs, and closed his eyes. 

Devanne waited in some perplexity. 

"Is he asleep? Is he thinking?" 

In any case, he went out to give his instructions. When he returned 


he found the Englishman on his knees at the foot of the staircase 
in the gallery, exploring the carpet. 
"What is it?" 

"Look at these candle stains." 
"I see ... they are quite fresh . . ." 

"And you will find others at the top of the stairs, and more still 
around this glass case which Arsene Lupin broke open, and from 
which he removed the curiosities and placed them on this chair." 
"And what do you conclude?" 

"Nothing. All these facts would no doubt explain the restitution 
which he effected. But that is a side of the question which I have 
no time to go into. The essential thing is the map of the underground 

"You still hope . . ." 

"I don't hope; I know. There's a chapel at two or three hundred 
yards from the castle, is there not?" 
"Yes, a ruined chapel, with the tomb of Duke Rollo." 
"Tell your chauffeur to wait near the chapel." 
"My chauffeur is not back yet. . . . They are to let me know. . . . 
So, I see, you consider that the underground passage ends at the 
chapel. What indication " 

Holmlock Shears interrupted him: 
"May I ask you to get me a ladder and a lantern?" 
"Oh, do you want a ladder and a lantern?" 
"I suppose so, or I wouldn't ask you for them." 
Devanne, a little taken aback by this cold logic, rang the bell. 
The ladder and the lantern were brought. 

Orders succeeded one another with the strictness and precision of 
military commands: 
"Put the ladder against the bookcase, to the left of the word 


Devanne did as he was asked, and the Englishman continued: 

"More to the left ... to the right. . . . Stop! ... Go up. ... 
Good. . . . The letters are all in relief, are they not?" 


"Catch hold of the letter H, and tell me whether it turns in either 



Devanne grasped the letter H, and exclaimed: 

"Yes, it turns! A quarter of a circle to the right! How did you dis- 
cover that ? . . ." 

Shears, without replying, continued: 

"Can you reach the letter R from where you stand ? Yes. . . . Move 
it about, as you would a bolt which you were pushing or drawing." 

Devanne moved the letter R. To his great astonishment, some- 
thing became unlatched inside. 

"Just so," said Holmlock Shears. "All that you now have to do 
is to push your ladder to the other end; that is to say, to the end of 
the word THIBERMESNIL. . . . Good. . . . Now, if I am not mistaken, 
if things go as they should, the letter L will open like a shutter." 

With a certain solemnity, Devanne took hold of the letter L. The 
letter L opened, but Devanne tumbled off his ladder, for the whole 
section of the bookcase between the first and last letters of the word 
swung round upon a pivot and disclosed the opening of the tunnel. 

Holmlock Shears asked, phlegmatically : 

"Have you hurt yourself?" 

"No, no," said Devanne, scrambling to his feet. "I'm not hurt, 
but flurried, I admit. . . . Those moving letters. . . . that yawning 
tunnel . . ." 

"And what then ? Doesn't it all fit in exactly with the Sully quota- 

"How do you mean?" 

"Why, I'H tournoie, I'R jremit, et I'L s'ouvre . . ." l 

"But what about Louis XVI?" 

"Louis XVI was a really capable locksmith. I remember reading a 
Treatise on Combination-loc\s which was ascribed to him. On the 
part of a Thibermesnil, it would be an act of good courtiership to 
show his sovereign this masterpiece of mechanics. By the way of a 
memorandum, the king wrote down 2-6-12 that is to say, the 
second, sixth, and twelfth letters of die word: H, R, L." 

"Oh, of course. ... I am beginning to understand. . . . Only, look 
here ... I can see how you get out of this room, but I can't see 
how Lupin got in; for, remember, he came from the outside." 

1 It can hardly be necessary to explain to modern English readers that, in French, the 
letter H is pronounced hache, an ax; R, air, the air; and L, aile, a wing. TRANS- 


Holmlock Shears lit the lantern, and entered the underground 

"Look, you can see the whole mechanism here, like the works of 
a watch, and all the letters are reversed. Lupin, therefore, had only 
to move them from this side of the wall." 

"What proof have you?" 

"What proof? Look at this splash of oil. He even foresaw that the 
wheels would need greasing," said Shears, not without admiration. 

"Then he knew the other outlet?" 

"Just as I know it. Follow me." 

"Into the underground passage?" 

"Are you afraid?" 

"No; but are you sure you can find your way?" 

"I'll find it with my eyes shut." 

They first went down twelve steps, then twelve more, and again 
twice twelve more. Then they passed through a long tunnel whose 
brick walls showed traces of successive restorations, and oozed, in 
places, with moisture. The ground underfoot was damp. 

"We are passing under the pond," said Devanne, who felt far from 

The tunnel ended in a flight of twelve steps, followed by three 
other flights of twelve steps each, which they climbed with difficulty, 
and they emerged in a small hollow hewn out of the solid rock. The 
way did not go any farther. 

"Hang it all!" muttered Holmlock Shears. "Nothing but bare walls. 
This is troublesome." 

"Suppose we go back," suggested Devanne, "for I don't see the 
use of learning any more. I have seen all I want to." 

But on raising his eyes the Englishman gave a sigh of relief: above 
their heads the same mechanism was repeated as at the entrance. He 
had only to work the three letters. A block of granite turned on a 
pivot. On the other side it formed Duke Hollo's tombstone, carved 
with the twelve letters in relief, THIBERMESNIL. And they found 
themselves in the little ruined chapel of which Holmlock Shears had 

" 'And you go to God' . . . that is to say, to the chapel," said Shears, 
quoting the end of the sentence. 

"Is it possible " cried Devanne, amazed at the other's perspicacity 


and keenness "is it possible that this simple clue told you all that 
you wanted to know?" 

"Tush!" said the Englishman. "It was even superfluous. In the 
copy belonging to the Bibliotheque Nationale the drawing of the tun- 
nel ends on the left, as you know, in a circle, and on the right, as 
you do not know, in a little cross, which is so faintly marked that it 
can only be seen through a magnifying glass. This cross obviously 
points to the chapel." 

Poor Devanne could not believe his ears. 

"It's wonderful, marvelous, and just as simple as A B C! How is it 
that the mystery was never seen through?" 

"Because nobody ever united the three or four necessary elements; 
that is to say, the two books and the quotations . . . nobody, except 
Arsene Lupin and myself." 

"But I also," said Devanne, "and the Abbe Gelis ... we both of 
us knew as much about it as you, and yet . . ." 

Shears smiled. 

"Monsieur Devanne, it is not given to all the world to succeed in 
solving riddles." 

"But I have been hunting for ten years. And you, in ten min- 
utes . . ." 

"Pooh! It's a matter of habit." 

They walked out of the chapel, and the Englishman exclaimed: 

"Hullo, a motorcar waiting!" 

"Why, it's mine!" 

"Yours? But I thought the chauffeur hadn't returned?" 

"No more he had ... I can't make out . . ." 

They went up to the car, and Devanne said to the chauffeur: 

"Victor, who told you to come here?" 

"Monsieur Velmont, sir," replied the man. 

"Monsieur Velmont? Did you meet him?" 

"Yes, sir, near the station, and he told me to go to the chapel." 

"To go to the chapel! What for?" 

"To wait for you, sir ... and your friend." 

Devanne and Holmlock Shears exchanged glances. Devanne said: 

"He saw that the riddle would be child's play to you. He has paid 
you a delicate compliment." 


A smile of satisfaction passed over the detective's thin lips. The 
compliment pleased him. He jerked his head and said : 

"He's a man, that! I took his measure the moment I saw him." 

"So you've seen him?" 

"We crossed on my way here." 

"And you knew that he was Horace Velmont I mean to say, 
Arsene Lupin?" 

"No, but it did not take me long to guess as much . . . from a 
certain irony in his talk." 

"And you let him escape?" 

"I did . . . although I had only to put out my hand . . . five 
gendarmes rode past us." 

"But, bless my soul, you'll never get an opportunity like that 
again . . ." 

"Just so, Monsieur Devanne," said the Englishman, proudly. 
"When Holmlock Shears has to do with an adversary like Arsene 
Lupin, he does not take opportunities ... he creates them . . ." 

But time was pressing, and as Lupin had been so obliging as to 
send the motor, Devanne and Shears settled themselves in their seats. 
Victor started the engine, and they drove off. Fields, clumps of trees 
sped past. The gentle undulations of the Caux country leveled out 
before them. Suddenly Devanne's eyes were attracted to a little parcel 
in one of the carriage pockets. 

"Hullo! What's this? A parcel! Whom for? Why, it's for you!" 

"For me?" 

"Read for yourself: Holmloc\ Shears, Esq., from Arsene Lupin!" 

The Englishman took the parcel, untied the string, and removed 
the two sheets of paper in which it was wrapped. It was a watch. 

"Oh!" he said, accompanying his exclamation with an angry 
gesture. . . . 

"A watch," said Devanne. "Can he have . . ." 

The Englishman did not reply. 

"What! It's your watch? Is Arsene Lupin returning you your 
watch? Then he must have taken it! ... He must have taken your 
watch! Oh, this is too good! Holmlock Shears's watch spirited away 
by Arsene Lupin! Oh, this is too funny for words! No, upon my 
honor . . . you must excuse me ... I can't help laughing!" 


He laughed till he cried, utterly unable to restrain himself. When 
he had done, he declared, in a tone of conviction: 

"Yes, he's a man, as you said." 

The Englishman did not move a muscle. With his eyes fixed on 
the fleeting horizon he spoke not a word until they reached Dieppe. 
His silence was terrible, unfathomable, more violent than the fiercest 
fury. On the landing stage he said simply, this time without betraying 
any anger, but in a tone that revealed all the iron will and energy of 
his remarkable personality: 

"Yes, he's a man, and a man on whose shoulder I shall have great 
pleasure in laying this hand with which I now grasp yours, Monsieur 
Devanne. And I have an idea, mark you, that Arsene Lupin and 
Holmlock Shears will meet again someday. . . . Yes, the world is 
too small for them not to meet. . . . And when they do . . ." 




"The Adventure of the Clothes-line" first appeared in "The 
Century," issue of May 79/5 but to the best of your Editors' 
knowledge this is the first time Carolyn Wells's parody has 
ever been published in boo\ form. 

Holmes is depicted as the president who would challenge 
his right? of the Society of Infallible Detectives. If you will 
loof( at the frontispiece of this volume, which served as one of 
the original illustrations in "The Century" magazine, you will 
see Holmes literally towering above his colleagues The 
Thinking Machine, Raffles, M. Lecoq, and others perfect 
symbolism on the part of that great Sherlockjan artist, Frederic 
Dorr Steele. 

Shortly after the death of Carolyn Wells, a large part of her 
library was sent to the Parf(e-Bernet Galleries of New Yorf^ 
City for auction. Through the kindness of Mr. Alfred Gold- 
smith, the eminent bookseller (and one of Carolyn Wells's 
most intimate friends), and Messrs. Swann and Gaffney of the 
Galleries, your Editors were permitted to examine the Wellsian 
booi{s before they were catalogued. 

It was a remarkable experience, this browsing among a life- 
time of booJ{s, each touched with the memory of one of Amer- 
ica's most prolific detective-story writers. There was almost a 
complete collection of Carolyn Wells's own worlds number- 
ing ijo-odd different titles! Through the further \indness of 
Mary O'Connell, to whom this portion of Miss Wells's library 
was willed, your Editors were permitted to buy certain booths 
in advance of the auction. Those are prized booths now a 
first edition of Rodrigues Ottolengui's FINAL PROOF (New Yorl(, 


Putnam, 1898), a first edition of Jacques Futrelle's THE THINK- 
ING MACHINE ON THE CASE {New Yorf(, Appleton, 7908), and a 
jew English anthologies. 

Later, during the auction, Mr. Goldsmith successfully bid in 
for your Editors on a copy of Poe's TALES (London, Wiley & 
Putnam, 1845) a rare and important boo\, in the original 
cloth, enclosed in a morocco slipcase, and enhanced by one of 
Carolyn Wells' s charming and ironic bookplates. But we have 
strayed off the main road into bibliobypaths . . . 

Passing from boo\ to boo\, opening an occasional volume 
and dipping like bees into its honey, your Editors were deeply 
impressed by the catholicity and vigor of Miss Wells' s literary 
taste. Certain deductions were obvious or, shall we say, ele- 
mentary? That Miss Wells loved the excitement of life on the 
printed page was all too clear her favorite boo\s were by 
Walt Whitman and Herman Melville; but judging from the 
treasured Conan Doyle volumes which she %ept throughout 
her life, she must always have had a warm spot in her affections 
for that towering figure of a man, Sherloc\ Holmes. 



.HE MEMBERS of the Society of Infallible Detectives were just 
sitting around and being socially infallible, in their rooms in Fakir 
Street, when President Holmes strode in. He was much saturniner 
than usual, and the others at once deduced there was something 

"And it's this," said Holmes, perceiving that they had perceived 
it. "A reward is offered for the solution of a great mystery so great, 
my colleagues, that I fear none of you will be able to solve it, or even 
to help me in the marvelous work I shall do when ferreting it out." 

"Humph!" grunted the Thinking Machine, riveting his steel-blue 
eyes upon the speaker. 

"He voices all our sentiments," said RafHes, with his winning smile. 
"Fire away, Holmes. What's the prob?" 

"To explain a most mysterious proceeding down on the East Side." 

Though a tall man, Holmes spoke shortly, for he was peeved at the 


inattentive attitude of his collection of colleagues. But of course he 
still had his Watson, so he put up with the indifference of the rest 
of the cold world. 

"Aren't all proceedings down on the East Side mysterious?" asked 
Arsene Lupin, with an aristocratic look. 

Holmes passed his brow wearily under his hand. 

"Inspector Spyer," he said, "was riding on the Elevated Road- 
one of the small numbered Avenues when, as he passed a tenement- 
house district, he saw a clothes-line strung from one high window to 
another across a courtyard." 

"Was it Monday?" asked the Thinking Machine, who for the 
moment was thinking he was a washing machine. 

"That doesn't matter. About the middle of the line was sus- 
pended - 

"By clothes-pins?" asked two or three of the Infallibles at once. 

"Was suspended a beautiful woman." 


"No. Do listen! She hung by her hands, and was evidently trying 
to cross from one house to the other. By her exhausted and agonized 
face, the inspector feared she could not hold on much longer. He 
sprang from his seat to rush to her assistance, but the train had 
already started, and he was too late to get off." 

"What was she doing there?" "Did she fall?" "What did she look 
like?" and various similar nonsensical queries fell from the lips of 
the great detectives. 

"Be silent, and I will tell you all the known facts. She was a society 
woman, it is clear, for she was robed in a chiffon evening gown, one 
of those roll-top things. She wore rich jewelry and dainty slippers 
with jeweled buckles. Her hair, unloosed from its moorings, hung in 
heavy masses far down her back." 

"How extraordinary! What does it all mean?" asked M. Dupin, 
ever straightforward of speech. 

"I don't know yet," answered Holmes, honestly. "I've studied the 
matter only a few months. But I will find out, if I have to raze the 
whole tenement block. There must be a clue somewhere." 

"Marvelous! Holmes, marvelous!" said a phonograph in the corner, 
which Watson had fixed up, as he had to go out. 


"The police have asked us to take up the case and have offered a 
reward for its solution. Find out who was the lady, what she was 
doing, and why she did it." 

"Are there any clues?" asked M. Vidocq, while M. Lecoq said 
simultaneously, "Any footprints?" 

"There is one footprint; no other clue." 

"Where is the footprint?" 

"On the ground, right under where the lady was hanging." 

"But you said the rope was high from the ground." 

"More than a hundred feet." 

"And she stepped down and made a single footprint. Strange! 
Quite strange!" and the Thinking Machine shook his yellow old 


"She did nothing of the sort," said Holmes, petulantly. "If you 
fellows would listen, you might hear something. The occupants of 
the tenement houses have been questioned. But, as it turns out, none 
of them chanced to be at home at the time of the occurrence. There 
was a parade in the next street, and they had all gone to see it." 

"Had a light snow fallen the night before?" asked Lecoq, eagerly. 

"Yes, of course," answered Holmes. "How could we know any- 
thing, else? Well, the lady had dropped her slipper, and although the 
slipper was not found, it having been annexed by the tenement 
people who came home first, I had a chance to study the footprint. 
The slipper was a two and a half D. It was too small for her." 

"How do you know?" 

"Women always wear slippers too small for them." 

"Then how did she come to drop it off?" This from Raffles, 

Holmes looked at him pityingly. 

"She kicked it off because it was too tight. Women always kick 
off their slippers when playing bridge or in an opera box or at a 

"And always when they're crossing a clothes-line?" This in Lupin's 

most sarcastic vein. 

"Naturally," said Holmes, with a taciturnine frown. "The footprint 
clearly denotes a lady of wealth and fashion, somewhat short of 
stature, and weighing about one hundred and sixty. She was of an 
animated nature " 


"Suspended animation," put in Luther Trant, wittily, and Scien- 
tific Sprague added, "Like the. Coffin of Damocles, or whoever it 

But Holmes frowned on their light-headedness. 

"We must find out what it all means," he said in his gloomiest 
way. "I have a tracing of the footprint." 

"I wonder if my seismospygmograph would work on it," mused 

"I am the Prince of Footprints," declared Lecoq, pompously. '7 

will solve the mystery." 

"Do your best, all of you," said their illustrious president. "I fear 
you can do little; these things are unintelligible to the unintelligent. 
But study on it, and meet here again one week from tonight, with 
your answers neatly typewritten on one side of the paper." 

The Infallible Detectives started off, each affecting a jaunty san- 
guineness of demeanor, which did not in the least impress their 
president, who was used to sanguinary impressions. 

They spent their allotted seven days in the study of the problem; 
and a lot of the seven nights, too, for they wanted to delve into the 
baffling secret by sun or candlelight, as dear Mrs. Browning so 
poetically puts it. 

And when the week had fled, the Infallibles again gathered in the 
Fakir Street sanctum, each face wearing the smug smirk and smile 
of one who had quested a successful quest and was about to accept 
his just reward. 

"And now," said President Holmes, "as nothing can be hid from 
the Infallible Detectives, I assume we have all discovered why the 
lady hung from the clothes-line above that deep and dangerous chasm 
of a tenement courtyard." 

"We have," replied his colleagues, in varying tones of pride, conceit, 
and mock modesty. 

"I cannot think," went on the hawk-like voice, "that you have, any 
of you, stumbled upon the real solution of the mystery; but I will 
listen to your amateur attempts." 

"As the oldest member of our organization, I will tell my solution 
first," said Vidocq, calmly. "I have not been able to find the lady, 
but I am convinced that she was merely an expert trapezist or tight- 


rope walker, practising a new trick to amaze her Coney Island 

"Nonsense!" cried Holmes. "In that case the lady would have worn 
tights or fleshings. We are told she was in full evening dress of the 

smartest set." 

Arsene Lupin spoke next. 

"It's too easy," he said boredly; "she was a typist or stenographer 
who had been annoyed by attentions from her employer, and was 
trying to escape from the brute." 

"Again I call your attention to her costume," said Holmes, with 
a look of intolerance on his finely cold-chiseled face. 

"That's all right," returned Lupin, easily. "Those girls dress every 
old way! I've seen 'em. They don't think anything of evening clothes 
at their work." 

"Humph!" said the Thinking Machine, and the others all agreed 

with him. 

"Next," said Holmes, sternly. 

"I'm next," said Lecoq. "I submit that the lady escaped from a 
near-by lunatic asylum. She had the illusion that she was an old over- 
coat and the moths had got at her. So of course she hung herself on 
the clothes-line. This theory of lunacy also accounts for the fact that 
the lady's hair was down like Ophelia's, you know." 

"It would have been easier for her to swallow a few good moth 
balls," said Holmes, looking at Lecoq in stormy silence. "Mr. Gryce, 
you are an experienced deducer; what did you conclude?" 

Mr. Gryce glued his eyes to his right boot toe, after his celebrated 
habit. "I make out she was a-slumming. You know, all the best ladies 
are keen about it. And I feel that she belonged to the Cult for the 
Betterment of Clothes-lines. She was by way of being a tester. She had 
to go across them hand over hand, and if they bore her weight, they 
were passed by the censor." 

"And if they didn't?" 

"Apparently that predicament had not occurred at the time of our 
problem, and so cannot be considered." 

"I think Gryce is right about the slumming," remarked Luther 
Trant, "but the reason for the lady hanging from the clothes-line is 
the imperative necessity she felt for a thorough airing, after her 


tenemental visitations; there is a certain tenement scent, if I may 
express it, that requires ozone in quantities." 

"You're too material," said the Thinking Machine, with a faraway 
look in his weak, blue eyes. "This lady was a disciple of New Thought. 
She had to go into the silence, or concentrate, or whatever they call 
it. And they always choose strange places for these thinking spells. 
They have to have solitude, and, as I understand it, the clothes-line 
was not crowded?" 

Rouletabille laughed right out. 

"You're way off, Thinky," he said. "What ailed that dame was just 
that she wanted to reduce. I've read about it in the women's journals. 
They all want to reduce. They take all sorts of crazy exercises, and 
this crossing clothes-lines hand over hand is the latest. I'll bet it took 
off twenty of those avoirdupois with which old Sherly credited her." 

"Pish and a few tushes!" remarked Raffles, in his smart society 
jargon. "You don't fool me. That clever little bear was making up a 
new dance to thrill society next winter. You'll see. Sunday-paper 
CAUGHT ON LIKE WILDFIRE! That's what it's all about. What do you 

know, eh?" 

"Go take a walk, Raffles," said Holmes, not unkindly; "you re 
sleepy yet. Scientific Sprague, you sometimes put over an abstruse 
theory, what do you say?" 

"I didn't need science," said Sprague, carelessly. "As soon as 1 
heard she had her hair down, I jumped to the correct conclusion. 
She had been washing her hair, and was drying it. My sister always 
sticks her head out of the skylight; but this lady's plan is, I should 
judge, a more all-round success." 

As they had now all voiced their theories, President Holmes rose 
to give them the inestimable benefit of his own views. 

"Your ideas are not without some merit," he conceded, "but you 
have overlooked the eternal-feminine element in the problem. As 
soon as I tell you the real solution, you will each wonder why it 
escaped your notice. The lady thought she heard a mouse, so she 
scrambled out of the window, preferring to risk her life on the perilous 
clothes-line rather than stay in the dwelling where the mouse was 
also. It is all very simple. She was doing her hair, threw her head 


over forward to twist it, as they always do, and so espied the mouse 
sitting in the corner." 

"Marvelous! Holmes, marvelous!" exclaimed Watson, who had just 
come back from his errand. 

Even as they were all pondering on Holmes's superior wisdom, the 
telephone bell rang. 

"Are you there?" said President Holmes, for he was ever English 

of speech. 

"Yes, yes," returned the impatient voice of the chief of police. "Call 
off your detective workers. We have discovered who the lady was 
who crossed the clothes-line, and why she did it." 

"I can't imagine you really know," said Holmes into the trans- 
mitter; "but tell me what you think." 

"A-r-r-rh! Of course I know! It was just one of those confounded 
moving-picture stunts!" 

"Indeed! And why did the lady kick off her slipper?" 

"A-r-r-r-h! It was part of the fool plot. She's Miss Flossy Flicker 
of the Flim-Flam Film Company, doin' the six-reel thriller, 'At the 
End of Her Rope.' " 

"Ah," said Holmes, suavely, "my compliments to Miss Flicker on 
her good work." 

"Marvelous, Holmes, marvelous!" said Watson. 

Detective: SHERLOCK HOLMES Narrator: WATSON 


"The Unique Hamlet" is Vincent Starrett's most devout 
achievement in a lifelong "career of Conan Doyle idolatry" 
It is unanimously considered one of the finest pure pastiches of 
Sherloc^ Holmes ever written. Until recently it existed only in 
a private edition, printed in 7920 for the friends of Walter M. 
Hill. This slim and fragile first issue is one of the most eagerly 
sought rarities of Holmesiana. 

Mr. Starrett, probably the outstanding authority on Sher- 
lock^ in America, has never written a line about Holmes that 
hasn't tingled with interest, speculation, and intimate knowl- 

Yorf(, Macmillan, 1933) is easily the most fascinating wor^ of 
its kind. But in your Editors' opinion one of the most pro- 
vocative paragraphs Mr. Starrett ever wrote about Holmes has 
never appeared in print until now. Here it is a postscript 
from one of Mr. Starrett's letters to your Editors: 

"I've always wanted to do a synthetic Sherlock. the begin- 
ning of one story, the middle of another, and the conclusion of 
a third; or perhaps six or eight of the adventures merged into 
a perfect Holmes tale. I may yet do it. The reason would be to 
produce a Holmes adventure that I could completely admire, 
and which would contain everything I like the opening at 
the breakjast table, with a page or two of deduction; the ap- 
pearance of Mrs. Hudson, followed instantly by the troubled 
client, who would fall over the threshold in a faint; the han- 
som in the fog, and so on. I thin\ it could be done. I find when 
I thin\ of the Holmes stories that almost instinctively I thinly 
of just such a yarn, wonder which one it is, then realize it's a 
cento existing only in my mind" 

Note the buried line "I may yet do it" By all means, Vin- 


cent, do it! Provided the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 
grants its permission, your Editors guarantee to publish your 
cento "Jhe Adventure, Memoir, and Return of Sherloc^ 
Holmes; or, His ReaUy Last Bow" - in the pages of "Ellery 
Queen's Mystery Magazine." 


.OLMES," said I, one morning as I stood in our bay window, 

looking idly into the street, "surely here comes a madman. Someone 
has incautiously left the door open and the poor fellow has slipped 
out. What a pity!" 

It was a glorious morning in the spring, with a fresh breeze and 
inviting sunlight, but as it was early few persons were as yet astir. 
Birds twittered under the neighboring eaves, and from the far end of 
the thoroughfare came faintly the droning cry of an umbrella-repair 
man; a lean cat slunk across the cobbles and disappeared into a 
courtway; but for the most part the street was deserted save for the 
eccentric individual who had called forth my exclamation. 

My friend rose lazily from the chair in which he had been lounging, 
and came to my side, standing with long legs spread and hands in 
the pockets of his dressing gown. He smiled as he saw the singular 
personage coming along; and a personage indeed he seemed to be, 
despite his curious actions, for he was tall and portly, with elderly 
whiskers of the variety called mutton-chop, and eminently respectable. 
He was loping curiously, like a tired hound, lifting his knees high 
as he ran, and a heavy double watch-chain bounced against and re- 
bounded from the plump line of his figured waistcoat. With one hand 
he clutched despairingly at his silk, two-gallon hat, while with the 
other he made strange gestures in the air in an emotion bordering 
upon distraction. We could almost see the spasmodic workings of his 

"What under heaven can ail him?" I cried. "See how he glances 
at the houses as he passes." 

"He is looking at the numbers," responded Sherlock Holmes, with 
dancing eyes, "and I fancy it is ours that will bring him the greatest 
happiness. His profession, of course, is obvious." 

"A banker, I should imagine, or at least a person of affluence," I 


ventured, wondering what curious bit of minutiae had betrayed the 
man's vocation to my remarkable companion, in a single glance. 

"Affluent, yes," said Holmes, with a mischievous twinkle, "but not 
exactly a banker, Watson. Notice the sagging pockets, despite the 
excellence of his clothing, and the rather exaggerated madness of his 
eye. He is a collector, or I am very much mistaken." 

"My dear fellow!" I exclaimed. "At his age and in his station! 
And why should he be seeking us ? When we settled that last bill " 

"Of books," said my friend, severely. "He is a book collector. His 
line is Caxtons, Elzevirs, and Gutenberg Bibles; not the sordid re- 
minders of unpaid grocery accounts. See, he is turning in, as I ex- 
pected, and in a moment he will stand upon our hearthrug and tell 
the harrowing tale of an unique volume and its extraordinary disap- 

His eyes gleamed and he rubbed his hands together in satisfaction. 
I could not but hope that his conjecture was correct, for he had had 
little recently to occupy his mind, and I lived in constant fear that he 
would seek that stimulation his active brain required in the long- 
tabooed cocaine bottle. 

As Holmes finished speaking the doorbell echoed through the 
house; then hurried feet were sounding on the stairs, while the 
wailing voice of Mrs. Hudson, raised in protest, could only have been 
occasioned by frustration of her coveted privilege of bearing up our 
caller's card. Then the door burst violently inward and the object of 
our analysis staggered to the center of the room and, without an- 
nouncing his intention by word or sign, pitched headforemost to our 
center rug. There he lay, a magnificent ruin, with his head on the 
fringed border and his feet in the coal scuttle; and sealed within his 
lifeless lips was the amazing story he had come to tell for that it 
was amazing we could not doubt in the light of our client's ex- 
traordinary behavior. 

Sherlock Holmes ran quickly for the brandy bottle, while I knelt 
beside the stricken man and loosened his wilted neckband. He was 
not dead, and when we had forced the nozzle of the flask between his 
teeth he sat up in groggy fashion, passing a dazed hand across his 
eyes. Then he scrambled to his feet with an embarrassed apology 
for his weakness, and fell into the chair which Holmes invitingly 
held towards him. 


"That is right, Mr. Harrington Edwards," said my companion, 
soothingly. "Be quite calm, my dear sir, and when you have re- 
covered your composure you will find us ready to listen." 

"You know me then?" cried our visitor. There was pride in his 
voice and he lifted his eyebrows in surprise. 

"I had never heard of you until this moment; but if you wish to 
conceal your identity it would be well," said Sherlock Holmes, "for 
you to leave your bookplates at home." As Holmes spoke he returned 
a little package of folded paper slips, which he had picked from the 
floor. "They fell from your hat when you had the misfortune to 
collapse," he added whimsically. 

"Yes, yes," cried the collector, a deep blush spreading across his 
features. "I remember now; my hat was a little large and I folded a 
number of them and placed them beneath the sweatband. I had 

"Rather shabby usage for a handsome etched plate," smiled my 
companion; "but that is your affair. And now, sir, if you are quite 
at ease, let us hear what it is that has brought you, a collector of 
books, from Poke Stogis Manor the name is on the plate to the 
office of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, consulting expert in crime. Surely 
nothing but the theft of Mahomet's own copy of the Koran can have 
affected you so strongly." 

Mr. Harrington Edwards smiled feebly at the jest, then sighed. 
"Alas," he murmured, "if that were all! But I shall begin at the 

"You must know, then, that I am the greatest Shakespearean com- 
mentator in the world. My collection of ana is unrivaled and much of 
the world's collection (and consequently its knowledge of the 
veritable Shakespeare) has emanated from my pen. One book I did 
not possess: it was unique, in the correct sense of that abused word; 
the greatest Shakespeare rarity in the world. Few knew that it existed, 
for its existence was kept a profound secret among a chosen few. 
Had it become known that this book was in England any place, 
indeed its owner would have been hounded to his grave by wealthy 

"It was in the possession of my friend I tell you this in strictest 
confidence of my friend, Sir Nathaniel Brooke-Bannerman, whose 
place at Walton-on-Walton is next to my own. A scant two hundred 


yards separate our dwellings; so intimate has been our friendship 
that a few years ago the fence between our estates was removed, and 
each roamed or loitered at will in the other's preserves. 
"For some years, now, I have been at work upon my greatest book 

my magnum opus. It was to be my last book also, embodying 
the results of a lifetime of study and research. Sir, I know Elizabethan 
London better than any man alive; better than any man who ever 
lived, I think " He burst suddenly into tears. 

"There, there," said Sherlock Holmes, gendy. "Do not be distressed. 
Pray continue with your interesting narrative. What was this book 

which, I take it, in some manner has disappeared ? You borrowed 
it from your friend?" 

"That is what I am coming to," said Mr. Harrington Edwards, 
drying his tears, "but as for help, Mr. Holmes, I fear that is beyond 
even you. As you surmise, I needed this book. Knowing its value, 
which could not be fixed, for the book is priceless, and knowing Sir 
Nathaniel's idolatry of it, I hesitated before asking for the loan of it. 
But I had to have it, for without it my work could not have been 
completed, and at length I made my request. I suggested that I visit 
him in his home and go through the volume under his eyes, he sitting 
at my side throughout my entire examination, and servants stationed 
at every door and window, with fowling pieces in their hands. 

"You can imagine my astonishment when Sir Nathaniel laughed 
at my precautions. 'My dear Edwards,' he said, 'that would be all 
very well were you Arthur Bambidge or Sir Homer Nantes (men- 
tioning the two great men of the British Museum), or were you Mr. 
Henry Hutterson, the American railway magnate; but you are my 
friend Harrington Edwards, and you shall take the book home with 
you for as long as you like.' I protested vigorously, I can assure you; 
but he would have it so, and as I was touched by this mark of his 
esteem, at length I permitted him to have his way. My God! If I had 
remained adamant! If I had only . . ." 

He broke off and for a moment stared blindly into space. His eyes 
were directed at the Persian slipper on the wall, in the toe of which 
Holmes kept his tobacco, but we could see that his thoughts were 
far away. 

"Come, Mr. Edwards," said Holmes, firmly. "You are agitating 


yourself unduly. And you are unreasonably prolonging our curiosity. 
You have not yet told us what this book is." 

Mr. Harrington Edwards gripped the arm of the chair in which 
he sat. Then he spoke, and his voice was low and thrilling: 

"The book was a Hamlet quarto, dated 1602, presented by Shake- 
speare to his friend Drayton, with an inscription four lines in length, 
written and signed by the Master, himself!" 

"My dear sir!" I exclaimed. Holmes blew a long, slow whistle of 

"It is true," cried the collector. "That is the book I borrowed, and 
that is the book I lost! The long-sought quarto of 1602, actually in- 
scribed in Shakespeare's own hand! His greatest drama, in an edition 
dated a year earlier than any that is known; a perfect copy, and with 
four lines in his own handwriting! Unique! Extraordinary! Amaz- 
ing! Astounding! Colossal! Incredible! Un " 

He seemed wound up to continue indefinitely; but Holmes, who 
had sat quite still at first, shocked by the importance of the loss, 
interrupted the flow of adjectives. 

"I appreciate your emotion, Mr. Edwards," he said, "and the book 
is indeed all that you say it is. Indeed, it is so important that we 
must at once attack the problem of rediscovering it. Compose your- 
self, my dear sir, and tell us of the loss. The book, I take it, is readily 


"Mr. Holmes," said our client, earnestly, "it would be impossible 
to hide it. It is so important a volume that, upon coming into its 
possession, Sir Nathaniel Brooke-Bannerman called a consultation 
of the great binders of the Empire, at which were present Mr. Riviere, 
Messrs. Sangorski and Sutclifle, Mr. Zaehnsdorf, and certain others. 
They and myself, with two others, alone know of the book's existence. 
When I tell you that it is bound in brown levant morocco, with leather 
joints and brown levant doublures and fly-leaves, the whole elabo- 
rately gold-tooled, inlaid with seven hundred and fifty separate 
pieces of various colored leathers, and enriched by the insertion of 
eighty-seven precious stones, I need not add that it is a design that 
never will be duplicated, and I mention only a few of its glories. The 
binding was personally done by Messrs. Riviere, Sangorski, Sutcliffe, 
and Zaehnsdorf, working alternately, and is a work of such en- 


chantment that any man might gladly die a thousand deaths for 
the privilege of owning it for twenty minutes." 

"Dear me," quoth Sherlock Holmes, "it must indeed be a handsome 
volume, and from your description, together with a realization of 
importance by reason of its association, I gather that it is something 
beyond what might be termed a valuable book." 

"Priceless!" cried Mr. Harrington Edwards. "The combined wealth 
of India, Mexico, and Wall Street would be all too little for its 

"You are anxious to recover this book?" asked Sherlock Holmes, 
looking at him keenly. 

"My God!" shrieked the collector, rolling up his eyes and clawing 
at the air with his hands. "Do you suppose " 

"Tut, tut!" Holmes interrupted. "I was only testing you. It is 
a book that might move even you, Mr. Harrington Edwards, to 
theft but we may put aside that notion. Your emotion is too sincere, 
and besides you know too well the difficulties of hiding such a volume 
as you describe. Indeed, only a very daring man would purloin it 
and keep it long in his possession. Pray tell us how you came to lose it." 

Mr. Harrington Edwards seized the brandy flask, which stood at 
his elbow, and drained it at a gulp. With the renewed strength thus 
obtained, he continued his story : 

"As I have said, Sir Nathaniel forced me to accept the loan of 
the book, much against my wishes. On the evening that I called 
for it, he told me that two of his servants, heavily armed, would ac- 
company me across the grounds to my home. 'There is no danger,' 
he said, 'but you will feel better'; and I heartily agreed with him. 
How shall I tell you what happened ? Mr. Holmes, it was those very 
servants who assailed me and robbed me of my priceless borrowing!" 

Sherlock Holmes rubbed his lean hands with satisfaction. "Splen- 
did!" he murmured. "This is a case after my own heart. Watson, 
these are deep waters in which we are adventuring. But you are 
rather lengthy about this, Mr. Edwards. Perhaps it will help matters 
if I ask you a few questions. By what road did you go to your home ?" 

"By the main road, a good highway which lies in front of our estates. 
I preferred it to the shadows of the wood." 

"And there were some two hundred yards between your doors. At 
what point did the assault occur?" 


"Almost midway between the two entrance drives, I should say." 
"There was no light?" 
"That of the moon only." 

"Did you know these servants who accompanied you?" 
"One I knew slightly; the other I had not seen before." 
"Describe them to me, please." 

"The man who is known to me is called Miles. He is clean-shaven, 
short and powerful, although somewhat elderly. He was known, I 
believe, as Sir Nathaniel's most trusted servant; he had been with Sir 
Nathaniel for years. I cannot describe him minutely for, of course, 
I never paid much attention to him. The other was tall and thickset, 
and wore a heavy beard. He was a silent fellow; I do not believe he 
spoke a word during the journey." 
"Miles was more communicative?" 

"Oh yes even garrulous, perhaps. He talked about the weather 
and the moon, and I forget what all." 
"Never about books?" 

"There was no mention of books between any of us." 
"Just how did the attack occur?" 

"It was very sudden. We had reached, as I say, about the halfway 
point, when the big man seized me by the throat to prevent out- 
cry, I suppose and on the instant, Miles snatched the volume from 
my grasp and was off. In a moment his companion followed him. 
I had been half throttled and could not immediately cry out; but 
when I could articulate, I made the countryside ring with my cries. 
I ran after them, but failed even to catch another sight of them. They 
had disappeared completely." 
"Did you all leave the house together?" 

"Miles and I left together; the second man joined us at the porter's 
lodge. He had been attending to some of his duties." 
"And Sir Nathaniel where was he?" 
"He said good night on the threshold." 
"What has he had to say about all this?" 
"I have not told him." 

"You have not told him!" echoed Sherlock Holmes, in astonish- 

"I have not dared," confessed our client miserably. "It will kill 
him. That book was the breath of his life." 


"When did all this occur?" I put in, with a glance at Holmes. 

"Excellent, Watson," said my friend, answering my glance. "I was 
about to ask the same question." 

"Just last night," was Mr. Harrington Edwards's reply. "I was crazy 
most of the night, and didn't sleep a wink. I came to you the first 
thing this morning. Indeed, I tried to raise you on the telephone, 
last night, but could not establish a connection." 

"Yes," said Holmes, reminiscently, "we were attending Mme. Tren- 
tini's first night. You remember, Watson, we dined later at Albani's." 

"Oh, Mr. Holmes, do you think you can help me?" cried the abject 

"I trust so," answered my friend, cheerfully. "Indeed, I am certain 
I can. Such a book, as you remark, is not easily hidden. What say 
you, Watson, to a run down to Walton-on- Walton?" 

"There is a train in half an hour," said Mr. Harrington Edwards, 
looking at his watch. "Will you return with me?" 

"No, no," laughed Holmes, "that would never do. We must not 
be seen together just yet, Mr. Edwards. Go back yourself on the first 
train, by all means, unless you have further business in London. My 
friend and I will go together. There is another train this morning?" 

"An hour later." 

"Excellent. Until we meet, then!" 

We took the train from Paddington Station an hour later, as we 
had promised, and began our journey to Walton-on- Walton, a pleas- 
ant, aristocratic little village and the scene of the curious accident 
to our friend of Poke Stogis Manor. Sherlock Holmes, lying back in 
his seat, blew earnest smoke rings at the ceiling of our compartment, 
which fortunately was empty, while I devoted myself to the morning 
paper. After a bit I tired of this occupation and turned to Holmes to 
find him looking out of the window, wreathed in smiles, and quoting 
Horace softly under his breath. 

"You have a theory?" I asked, in surprise. 

"It is a capital mistake to theorize in advance of the evidence," 
he replied. "Still, I have given some thought to the interesting 
problem of our friend, Mr. Harrington Edwards, and there are several 
indications which can point to only one conclusion." 


"And whom do you believe to be the thief?" 

"My dear fellow," said Sherlock Holmes, "you forget we already 
know the thief. Edwards has testified quite clearly that it was Miles 
who snatched the volume." 

"True," I admitted, abashed. "I had forgotten. All we must do, 
then, is to find Miles." 

"And a motive," added my friend, chuckling. "What would you 
say, Watson, was the motive in this case?" 

"Jealousy," I replied. 

"You surprise me!" 

"Miles had been bribed by a rival collector, who in some manner 
had learned about this remarkable volume. You remember Edwards 
told us this second man joined them at the lodge. That would give 
an excellent opportunity for the substitution of a man other than the 
servant intended by Sir Nathaniel. Is not that good reasoning?" 

"You surpass yourself, my dear Watson," murmured Holmes. "It is 
excellently reasoned, and, as you justly observe, the opportunity for 
a substitution was perfect." 

"Do you not agree with me?" 

"Hardly, Watson. A rival collector, in order to accomplish this 
remarkable coup, first would have to have known of the volume, as 
you suggest, but also he must have known upon what night Mr. 
Harrington Edwards would go to Sir Nathaniel's to get it, which 
would point to collaboration on the part of our client. As a matter 
of fact, however, Mr. Edwards's decision to accept the loan, was, I 
believe, sudden and without previous determination." 

"I do not recall his saying so." 

"He did not say so, but it is a simple deduction. A book collector 
is mad enough to begin with, Watson; but tempt him with some such 
bait as this Shakespeare quarto and he is bereft of all sanity. Mr. 
Edwards would not have been able to wait. It was just the night 
before that Sir Nathaniel promised him the book, and it was just 
last night that he flew to accept the offer flying, incidentally, to 
disaster also. The miracle is that he was able to wait an entire day." 
"Wonderful!" I cried. 

"Elementary," said Holmes. "If you are interested, you will do well 
to read Harley Graham on Transcendental Emotion; while I have 


myself been guilty of a small brochure in which I catalogue some 
twelve hundred professions and the emotional effect upon their mem- 
bers of unusual tidings, good and bad." 

We were die only passengers to alight at Walton-on-Walton, but 
rapid inquiry developed that Mr. Harrington Edwards had returned 
on the previous train. Holmes, who had disguised himself before 
leaving the coach, did all the talking. He wore his cap peak back- 
wards, carried a pencil behind his ear, and had turned up the bot- 
toms of his trousers; while from one pocket dangled the end of a 
linen tape measure. He was a municipal surveyor to the life, and I 
could not but think that, meeting him suddenly in the highway, I 
should not myself have known him. At his suggestion, I dented the 
crown of my hat and turned my jacket inside out. Then he gave me 
an end of the tape measure, while he, carrying the other, went on 
ahead. In this fashion, stopping from time to time to kneel in the 
dust and ostensibly to measure sections of the roadway, we proceeded 
toward Poke Stogis Manor. The occasional villagers whom we en- 
countered on their way to the station bar paid us no more attention 
than if we had been rabbits. 

Shortly we came in sight of our friend's dwelling, a picturesque 
and rambling abode, sitting far back in its own grounds and bordered 
by a square of sentinel oaks. A gravel pathway led from the roadway 
to the house entrance and, as we passed, the sunlight struck fire 
from an antique brass knocker on the door. The whole picture, with 
its background of gleaming countryside, was one of rural calm and 
comfort; we could with difficulty believe it the scene of die sinister 
tragedy we were come to investigate. 

"We shall not enter yet," said Sherlock Holmes, passing the gate 
leading into our client's acreage; "but we shall endeavor to be back 
in time for luncheon." 

From this point the road progressed downward in a gentle incline 
and the trees were thicker on either side of the road. Sherlock Holmes 
kept his eyes stolidly on the path before us, and when we had covered 
about one hundred yards he stopped. "Here," he said, pointing, "the 
assault occurred." 

I looked closely at the earth, but could see no sign of struggle. 

"You recall it was midway between the two houses that it hap- 


pened," he continued. "No, there are few signs; there was no violent 
tussle. Fortunately, however, we had our proverbial fall of rain last 
evening and the earth has retained impressions nicely." He indicated 
the faint imprint of a foot, then another, and still another. Kneeling 
down, I was able to see that, indeed, many feet had passed along the 


Holmes flung himself at full length in the dirt and wriggled swiftly 
about, his nose to the earth, muttering rapidly in French. Then he 
whipped out a glass, the better to examine something that had caught 
his eye; but in a moment he shook his head in disappointment and 
continued with his exploration. I was irresistibly reminded of a 
noble hound, at fault, sniffing in circles in an effort to re-establish a 
lost scent. In a moment, however, he had it, for with a little cry of 
pleasure he rose to his feet, zigzagged curiously across the road and 
paused before a hedge, a lean finger pointing accusingly at a break 
in the thicket. 

"No wonder they disappeared," he smiled as I came up. "Edwards 
thought they continued up the road, but here is where they broke 
through." Then stepping back a little distance, he ran forward lightly 
and cleared the hedge at a bound, alighting on his hands on the 

other side. 

"Follow me carefully," he warned, "for we must not allow our own 
footprints to confuse us." I fell more heavily than my companion, but 
in a moment he had me by the heels and helped me to steady myself. 
"See," he cried, lowering his face to the earth; and deep in the mud 
and grass I saw the prints of two pairs of feet. 

"The small man broke through," said Sherlock Holmes, exultantly, 
"but the larger rascal leaped over the hedge. See how deeply his 
prints are marked; he landed heavily here in the soft ooze. It is 
significant, Watson, that they came this way. Does it suggest nothing 

to you?" 

"That they were men who knew Edwards's grounds as well as 
the Brooke-Bannerman estate," I answered; and thrilled with pleasure 
at my friend's nod of approbation. 

He lowered himself to his stomach, without further conversation, 
and for some moments we crawled painfully across the grass. Then 
a shocking thought occurred to me. 


"Holmes," I whispered in horror, "do you see where these foot- 
prints tend? They are directed toward the home of our client, Mr. 
Harrington Edwards!" 

He nodded his head slowly, and his lips were tight and thin. The 
double line of impressions ended abruptly at the back door of Poke 
Stogis Manor! 

Sherlock Holmes rose to his feet and looked at his watch. 

"We are just in time for luncheon," he announced, and brushed 
off his garments. Then, deliberately, he knocked upon the door. In 
a few moments we were in the presence of our client. 

"We have been roaming about the neighborhood," apologized the 
detective, "and took the liberty of coming to your rear door." 

"You have a clue?" asked Mr. Harrington Edwards, eagerly. 

A queer smile of triumph sat upon Holmes's lips. 

"Indeed," he said, quietly, "I believe I have solved your little 
problem, Mr. Harrington Edwards." 

"My dear Holmes!" I cried, and "My dear sir!" cried our client. 

"I have yet to establish a motive," confessed my friend; "but as to 
the main facts there can be no question." 

Mr. Harrington Edwards fell into a chair; he was white and 

"The book," he croaked. "Tell me!" 

"Patience, my good sir," counseled Holmes, kindly. "We have had 
nothing to eat since sunup, and we are famished. All in good time. 
Let us first dine and then all shall be made clear. Meanwhile, I should 
like to telephone to Sir Nathaniel Brooke-Bannerman, for I wish him 
also to hear what I have to say." 

Our client's pleas were in vain. Holmes would have his little joke 
and his luncheon. In the end, Mr. Harrington Edwards staggered 
away to the kitchen to order a repast, and Sherlock Holmes talked 
rapidly and unintelligibly into the telephone and came back with a 
smile on his face. But I asked no questions; in good time this extraor- 
dinary man would tell his story in his own way. I had heard all 
that he had heard, and had seen all that he had seen; yet I was 
completely at sea. Still, our host's ghastly smile hung heavily in my 
mind, and come what would I felt sorry for him. In a little time we 
were sealed at table. Our client, haggard and nervous, ate slowly 
and with apparent discomfort; his eyes were never long absent 


from Holmes's inscrutable face. I was little better off, but Sherlock 
Holmes ate with gusto, relating meanwhile a number of his earlier 
adventures which I may someday give to the world, if I am able 
to read my illegible notes made on the occasion. 

When the sorry meal had been concluded we went into the library, 
where Sherlock Holmes took possession of the easiest chair with an 
air of proprietorship that would have been amusing in other cir- 
cumstances. He screwed together his long pipe and lighted it with 
almost malicious lack of haste, while Mr. Harrington Edwards 
perspired against the mantel in an agony of apprehension. 

"Why must you keep us waiting, Mr. Holmes?" he whispered. 
"Tell us, at once, please, who who " His voice trailed off into 
a moan. 

"The criminal," said Sherlock Holmes, smoothly, "is - 

"Sir Nathaniel Brooke-Bannerman!" said a maid, suddenly, put- 
ting her head in at the door; and on the heels of her announcement 
stalked the handsome baronet, whose priceless volume had caused 
all this commotion and unhappiness. 

Sir Nathaniel was white, and he appeared ill. He burst at once 
into talk. 

"I have been much upset by your call," he said, looking meanwhile 
at our client. "You say you have something to tell me about the 
quarto. Don't say that anything has happened to it!" He 
clutched nervously at the wall to steady himself, and I felt deep pity 
for the unhappy man. 

Mr. Harrington Edwards looked at Sherlock Holmes. "Oh, Mr. 
Holmes," he cried, pathetically, "why did you send for him?" 

"Because," said my friend, "I wish him to hear the truth about 
the Shakespeare quarto. Sir Nathaniel, I believe you have not been 
told as yet that Mr. Edwards was robbed, last night, of your precious 
volume robbed by the trusted servants whom you sent with him 
to protect it." 

"What!" screamed the titled collector. He staggered and fumbled 
madly at his heart, then collapsed into a chair. "My God!" he mut- 
tered, and then again: "My God!" 

"I should have thought you would have been suspicious of evil 
when your servants did not return," pursued the detective. 

"I have not seen them," whispered Sir Nathaniel. "I do not mingle 


with my servants. I did not know they had failed to return. Tell 
me -tell me all!" 
"Mr. Edwards," said Sherlock Holmes, turning to our client, "will 

you repeat your story, please?" 

Mr. Harrington Edwards, thus adjured, told the unhappy tale 
again, ending with a heartbroken cry of "Oh, Nathaniel, can you ever 

forgive me?" 

"I do not know that it was entirely your fault," observed Holmes, 
cheerfully. "Sir Nathaniel's own servants are the guilty ones, and 
surely he sent them with you." 

"But you said you had solved the case, Mr. Holmes," cried our 
client, in a frenzy of despair. 

"Yes," agreed Holmes, "it is solved. You have had the clue in your 
own hands ever since the occurrence, but you did not know how to 
use it. It all turns upon the curious actions of the taller servant, prior 
to the assault." 

"The actions of " stammered Mr. Harrington Edwards. "Why, 
he did nothing said nothing!" 

"That is the curious circumstance," said Sherlock Holmes. 

Sir Nathaniel got to his feet with difficulty. 

"Mr. Holmes," he said, "this has upset me more than I can tell 
you. Spare no pains to recover the book and to bring to justice the 
scoundrels who stole it. But I must go away and think think " 

"Stay," said my friend. "I have already caught one of them." 

"What! Where?" cried the two collectors together. 

"Here," said Sherlock Holmes, and stepping forward he laid a 
hand on the baronet's shoulder. "You, Sir Nathaniel, were the taller 
servant; you were one of the thieves who throttled Mr. Harrington 
Edwards and took from him your own book. And now, sir, will you 

tell us why you did it?" 

Sir Nathaniel Brooke-Bannerman toppled and would have fallen 
had not I rushed forward and supported him. I placed him in a chair. 
As we looked at him we saw confession in his eyes; guilt was written 
in his haggard face. 

"Come, come," said Holmes, impatiently. "Or will it make it 
easier for you if I tell the story as it occurred? Let it be so, then. 
You parted with Mr. Harrington Edwards on your doorsill, Sir 
Nathaniel, bidding your best friend good night with a smile on 


your lips and evil in your heart. And as soon as you had closed the 
door, you slipped into an enveloping raincoat, turned up your collar, 
and hastened by a shorter road to the porter's lodge, where you joined 
Mr. Edwards and Miles as one of your own servants. You spoke no 
word at any time, because you feared to speak. You were afraid Mr. 
Edwards would recognize your voice, while your beard, hastily as- 
sumed, protected your face and in the darkness your figure passed 

"Having strangled and robbed your best friend, then, of your own 
book, you and your scoundrelly assistant fled across Mr. Edwards's 
fields to his own back door, thinking that, if investigation followed, 
I would be called in, and would trace those footprints and fix the 
crime upon Mr. Harrington Edwards as part of a criminal plan, 
prearranged with your rascally servants, who would be supposed to 
be in the pay of Mr. Edwards and the ringleaders in a counterfeit 
assault upon his person. Your mistake, sir, was in ending your trail 
abruptly at Mr. Edwards's back door. Had you left another trail, 
then, leading back to your own domicile, I should unhesitatingly have 
arrested Mr. Harrington Edwards for the theft. 

"Surely you must know that in criminal cases handled by me, 
it is never the obvious solution that is the correct one. The mere fact 
that the finger of suspicion is made to point at a certain individual 
is sufficient to absolve that individual from guilt. Had you read the 
little works of my friend and colleague, Dr. Watson, you would not 
have made such a mistake. Yet you claim to be a bookman!" 
A low moan from the unhappy baronet was his only answer. 
"To continue, however: there at Mr. Edwards's own back door 

you ended your trail, entering his house his own house and 

spending the night under his roof, while his cries and ravings over 

his loss filled the night and brought joy to your unspeakable soul. 

And in the morning, when he had gone forth to consult me, you 

quietly left you and Miles and returned to your own place by 

the beaten highway." 
"Mercy!" cried the defeated wretch, cowering in his chair. "If it 

is made public, I am ruined. I was driven to it. I could not let Mr. 

Edwards examine the book, for that way exposure would follow; 

yet I could nor refuse him my best friend when he asked its 



"Your words tell me all that I did not know," said Sherlock 
Holmes, sternly. "The motive now is only too plain. The work, sir, 
was a forgery, and knowing that your erudite friend would discove? 
it, you chose to blacken his name to save your own. Was the book 

"Insured for ^100,000, he told me," interrupted Mr. Harrington 
Edwards, excitedly. 

"So that he planned at once to dispose of this dangerous and 
dubious item, and to reap a golden reward," commented Holmes. 
"Come, sir, tell us about it. How much of it was forgery? Merely 
the inscription?" 

"I will tell you," said the baronet, suddenly, "and throw myself 
upon the mercy of my friend, Mr. Edwards. The whole book, in 
effect, was a forgery. It was originally made up of two imperfect 
copies of the 1604 quarto. Out of the pair I made one perfect volume, 
and a skillful workman, now dead, changed the date for me so 
cleverly that only an expert of the first water could have detected it. 
Such an expert, however, is Mr. Harrington Edwards the one man 
in the world who could have unmasked me." 

"Thank you, Nathaniel," said Mr. Harrington Edwards, grate- 

"The inscription, of course, also was forged," continued the baronet, 
"You may as well know everything." 

"And the book?" asked Holmes. "Where did you destroy it?" 

A grim smile settled on Sir Nathaniel's features. "It is even now 
burning in Mr. Edwards's own furnace," he said. 

"Then it cannot yet be consumed," cried Holmes, and dashed into 
the cellar. He was absent for some time and we heard the clinking 
of bottles and, finally, the clang of a great metal door. He emerged, 
some moments later, in high spirits, carrying a charred leaf of paper 
in his hand. 

"It is a pity," he cried, "a pity! In spite of its questionable authen- 
ticity, it was a noble specimen. It is only half consumed; but let it 
burn away. I have preserved one leaf as a souvenir of the occasion." 
He folded it carefully and placed it in his wallet. "Mr. Harrington 
Edwards, I fancy the decision in this matter is for you to announce. 
Sir Nathaniel, of course, must make no effort to collect the insurance." 

"Let us forget it, then," said Mr. Harrington Edwards, with a 


sigh. "Let it be a sealed chapter in the history of bibliomania." He 
looked at Sir Nathaniel Brooke-Bannerman for a long moment, then 
held out his hand. "I forgive you, Nathaniel," he said, simply. 

Their hands met; tears stood in the baronet's eyes. Powerfully 
moved, Holmes and I turned from the affecting scene and crept to 
the door unnoticed. In a moment the free air was blowing on our 
temples, and we were coughing the dust of the library from our 

"They are a strange people, these book collectors," mused Sherlock 
Holmes, as we rattled back to town. 

"My only regret is that I shall be unable to publish my notes on 
this interesting case," I responded. 

"Wait a bit, my dear Doctor," counseled Holmes, "and it will 
be possible. In time both of them will come to look upon it as a 
hugely diverting episode, and will tell it upon themselves. Then your 
notes shall be brought forth and the history of another of Mr. Sher- 
lock Holmes's little problems shall be given to the world." 

"It will always be a reflection upon Sir Nathaniel," I demurred. 

"He will glory in it," prophesied Sherlock Holmes. "He will go 
down in bookish chronicle with Chatterton, and Ireland, and Payne 
Collier. Mark my words, he is not blind even now to the chance 
this gives him for a sinister immortality. He will be the first to tell 
it." (And so, indeed, it proved, as this narrative suggests.) 

"But why did you preserve the leaf from Hamlet?" I inquired. 
"Why not a jewel from the binding?" 

Sherlock Holmes laughed heartily. Then he slowly unfolded the 
leaf in question, and directed a humorous finger to a spot upon the 


"A fancy," he responded, "to preserve so accurate a characteriza- 
tion of either of our friends. The line is a real jewel. See, the good 
Polonius says: 'That he is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true 'tis pittie; and pittie 
it is true.' There is as much sense in Master Will as in Hafiz or 
Confucius, and a greater felicity of expression. . . . Here is London, 
and now, my dear Watson, if we hasten we shall be just in time for 
Zabriski's matinee!" 


Narrator: BERTIE (!) WATSON 



In his delightful boof{ of satires, JUGGED JOURNALISM (London, 
Jenkins, 1925), A. B. Cox alias Anthony Berkeley, alias Fran- 
cis lies included as Lesson XIX in the Art of Writing a hu- 
morous dissertation on "Literary Style" He posed to himself 
the fruity problem of how another famous author would, "with 
all due reverence" write a Sherloc{ Holmes story. But let An- 
thony Berkeley Cox, the droll fellow responsible for this bi- 
blasphemous, this semi-sacrilegious parody, spea\ for himself: 

"Suppose, for example, that Dr. Conan Doyle, having been 
as\ed to supply a Sherloc^ Holmes story to a certain magazine, 
suddenly developed measles or thought he would rather play 
golf instead, and so handed the thing over to Mr. P. G. W ode- 
house to write for him. Would Mr. Wodehouse then write the 
story in the style of Dr. Doyle? Certainly not, for that would 
be very naughty indeed; it is one of the first rules of literary 
technique that you must never slavishly copy the style of an- 
other writer. 

"No, he would write it in his own style, thus: . . " 


_T WAS a pretty rotten sort of day in March, I remember, that dear 
old Holmes and I were sitting in the ancestral halls in Baker Street, 
putting in a quiet bit of meditation. At least Holmes was exercising 
the good old gray matter over a letter that had just come, while I 
was relaxing gently in an armchair. 

"What-ho, Watson, old fruit," he said at last, tossing the letter 
over to me. "What does that mass of alluvial deposit you call a brain 
make of this, what, what?" 


The letter went something like this, as far as I can remember; at 
least, I may not have got all the words quite right, but this was the 
sort of gist of it, if you take me : 

Jolly old Mr. Holmes, I shall be rolling round at about three 
o'clock to discuss a pretty ripe little problem with you. It's like this. 
Freddie Devereux asked me to marry him last night, as I can prove 
with witnesses; but this morning he says he must have been a bit over 
the edge (a trifle sozzled, if you get me), and that a proposal doesn't 
count in the eyes of the rotten old Law if made under the influence 
of friend Demon Rum, as it were. Well, what I mean is what 
about it? In other words, it's up to you to see that Freddie and I 
get tethered up together in front of an altar in the pretty near fu- 
ture. Get me? 

Yours to a stick of lip salve, 


"Well, Watson?" Holmes asked, splashing a little soda into his 
glass of cocaine. "As the jolly old poet says what, what, what?" 

"It seems to me," I said, playing for safety, "that this is a letter 
from a girl called Cissie Crossgarters, who wants to put the strangle- 
hold on a chappie called Devereux, while he's trying to counter with 
an uppercut from the jolly old Law. At least, that is, if you take my 

"It's astounding how you get at the heart of things, Watson," said 
Holmes, in that dashed sneering way of his. "But it is already three 
o'clock, and there goes the bell. If I'm not barking up the wrong 
tree, this will be our client. Cissie Crossgarters!" he added rumina- 
tively. "Mark my words, Watson, old laddie, she'll be a bit of a 
dasher. That is, a topnotcher, as it were." 

In spite of his faults I'm bound to say that Holmes certainly is the 
lad with the outsize brain; the fellow simply exudes intuition. The 
girl was a topnotcher. The way she sailed into our little sitting room 
reminded me of a ray of sunshine lighting up the good old Gorgon- 
zola cheese. I mean, poetry and bright effects and whatnot. 

"Miss Crossgarters?" asked Holmes, doing the polite. 

"Call me Cissie," she said, spraying him with smiles. Oh, she was 
a dasher all right. 

"Allow me to present my friend, colleague and whatnot, Bertie 


Watson," said Holmes, and she switched the smile onto me. I can 
tell you, I felt the old heart thumping like a motorbike as I squeezed 
the tiny little hand she held out to me. I mean, it was so dashed small. 
In fact, tiny, if you get me. I mean to say, it was such a dashed tiny 
little hand. 

"Well?" said Holmes, when we were all seated, looking his most 
hatchet-faced and sleuthiest. "And what about everything, as it were? 
That is, what, what?" 

"You got my letter?" cooed the girl, looking at Holmes as if he 
were the only man in the world. I mean, you know the sort of way 
they look at you when they want something out of you. 

"You bet I did," said Holmes, leaning back and clashing his ringer 
tips together, as was his habit when on the jolly old trail. 

"And what do you think of it?" 

"Ah!" said Holmes, fairly bursting with mystery. "That's what 
we've got to consider. But I may say that the situation appears to me 
dashed thick and not a little rotten. In fact, dashed rotten and pretty 
thick as well, if you take me. I mean to say," he added carefully, 
"well, if you follow what I'm driving at, altogether pretty well 
dashed thick and rotten, what?" 

"You do put things well," said the girl admiringly. "That's just what 
I felt about it myself. And what had I better do, do you think?" 

"Ah!" said Holmes again, clashing away like mad. "It's just that 
particular little fruity point that we've got to think over, isn't it? I 
mean, before we get down to action, we've got to put in a bit of pretty 
useful meditation and whatnot. At least, that's how the thing strikes 


"How clever you are, Mr. Holmes!" sighed the girl. 

Holmes heaved himself out of his chair. "And let me tell you that 
the best way of agitating the old bean into a proper performance of 
its duties is first of all to restore the good old tissues with a little 
delicate sustenance. In other words, what about something rather 
rare in tea somewhere first?" 

"Oh, yes!" cried the girl. "How lovely!" 

"Top-hole!" I said enthusiastically. I mean, the idea tickled me, 

Holmes looked at me with a dashed cold eye. "You're not on the 


stage for this bit of dialogue, dear old laddie," he remarked in the 
way that writer chappies call incisively. 

They trickled out together. 

It was past midnight before Holmes returned. 

"What ho!" I said doubtfully, still feeling a bit sore, if you under- 
stand me. 

"What ho!" said Holmes, unleashing his ulster. 

"What ho! What ho!" 

"What ho! What ho! What?" 

"I mean, what about Freddie Devereux?" I asked, to change the 

"That moon-faced lump of mediocrity? What about him?" 

"Well, what about him? About him and Miss Crossgarters, as it 
were. I mean to say, what about them, what?" 

"Oh, you mean what about them ? Well, I don't think he'll trouble 
her much more. You see, Cissie and I have got engaged to be mar- 
ried, what? I mean, what, what, what?" 

(And Mr. Berkeley adds: "That is one example of literary style") 




Miss Christie has set her ingenuity and uniting styll against 
every problem in detective-crime fiction. It was inevitable, 
therefore, that sooner or later she would tackle the subtle dif- 
ficulties of burlesque. Of course, when she did, it was in typical 
Christie fashion no halfway measures, as we hasten to ex- 

"The Case of the Missing Lady" is a chapter lifted from Miss 
Christies boo\, PARTNERS IN CRIME (London, Collins, 7929; 
New Yor{, Dodd, Mead, 7929) which contains not one 
burlesque but a baker's dozen of them! Other chapters parody 
Dr. Thorndy^e, Father Brown, The Old Man in the Corner, 
Hanaud, Inspector French, Roger Sheringham, Reggie For- 
tuneand because Miss Christie plays no favorites, Hercule 

Poirot himself! 

All the parodies concern the detectival affairs of that happy- 
go-luc\y husband-and-wife team, Tommy and Tuppence Beres- 
j or d _ a delightful English version of Nic{ and Nora Charles. 
The Tommy-Tuppence taJ(e-off on Sherloc/( Holmes is gentle 
and somewhat spoofing, but none the less effective. 


/HAT on earth are you doing?" demanded Tuppence, as she 
entered the inner sanctum of the International Detective Agency 
(Slogan Blunt's Brilliant Detectives) and discovered her lord and 
master prone on the floor in a sea o books. 

Tommy struggled to his feet. 

"I was trying to arrange these books on the top shelf of that cup- 
board," he complained. "And the damned chair gave way." 

"What are they, anyway?" asked Tuppence, picking up a vol- 


ume. "The Hound of the Bas^ervilles. I wouldn't mind reading that 
again sometime." 

"You see the idea?" said Tommy, dusting himself with care. "Half 
hours with the Great Masters that sort of thing. You see, Tup- 
pence, I can't help feeling that we are more or less amateurs at this 
business of course amateurs in one sense we cannot help being, but 
it would do no harm to acquire the technique, so to speak. These 
books are detective stories by the leading masters of the art. I intend to 
try different styles, and compare results." 

"H'm," said Tuppence. "I often wonder how those detectives would 
have got on in real life." She picked up another volume. "You'll find 
difficulty in being a Thorndyke. You've no medical experience, and 
less legal, and I never heard that science was your strong point." 

"Perhaps not," said Tommy. "But at any rate I've bought a very 
good camera, and I shall photograph footprints and enlarge the nega- 
tives and all that sort of thing. Now, mon amie, use your little gray 
cells what does this convey to you?" 

He pointed to the bottom shelf of the cupboard. On it lay a some- 
what futuristic dressing gown, a Persian slipper, and a violin. 

"Obvious, my dear Watson," said Tuppence. 

"Exactly," said Tommy. "The Sherlock Holmes touch." 

He took up the violin and drew the bow idly across the strings, 
causing Tuppence to give a wail of agony. 

At that moment the buzzer rang on the desk, a sign that a client 
had arrived in the outer office and was being held in parley by Albert, 
the office boy. 

Tommy hastily placed the violin on the table and kicked the books 
behind the desk. 

"Not that there's any great hurry," he remarked. "Albert will be 
handing them out the stuff about my being engaged with Scotland 
Yard on the phone. Get into your office and start typing, Tuppence. 
It makes the office sound busy and active. No, on second thought, 
you shall be taking notes in shorthand from my dictation. Let's have 
a look before we get Albeit to send the victim in." 

They approached the peephole which had been artistically con- 
trived so as to command a view of the outer office. 

"I'll wait," the visitor was saying. "I haven't got a card with me, 
but my name is Gabriel Stavansson." 


The client was a magnificent specimen of manhood, standing over 
six feet high. His face was bronzed and weather-beaten, and the ex- 
traordinary blue of his eyes made an almost startling contrast to the 
brown skin. 

Tommy swiftly changed his mind. He put on his hat, picked up 
some gloves, and opened the door. He paused on the threshold. 

"This gentleman is waiting to see you, Mr. Blunt," said Albert. 

A quick frown passed over Tommy's face. He took out his watch. 

"I am due at the Duke's at a quarter to eleven," he said. Then he 
looked keenly at the visitor. "I can give you a few minutes if you will 
come this way." 

The latter followed him obediently into the inner office, where 
Tuppence was sitting demurely with pad and pencil. 

"My confidential secretary, Miss Robinson," said Tommy. "Now, 
sir, perhaps you will state your business? Beyond the fact that it is 
urgent, that you came here in a taxi, and that you have lately been in 
the Arctic or possibly the Antarctic I know nothing." 

The visitor stared at him in amazement. 

"But this is marvelous," he cried. "I thought detectives only did 
such things in books! Your office boy did not even give you my 

Tommy sighed deprecatingly. 

"Tut tut, all that was very easy," he said. "The rays of the midnight 
sun within the Arctic circle have a peculiar action upon the skin 
the actinic rays have certain properties. I am writing a little mono- 
graph on the subject shortly. But all this is wide of the point. What is 
it that has brought you to me in such distress of mind?" 

"To begin with, Mr. Blunt, my name is Gabriel Stavansson " 

"Ah! Of course," said Tommy. "The well-known explorer. You 
have recently returned from the region of the North Pole, I believe?" 

"I landed in England three days ago. A friend who was cruising 
in northern waters brought me back on his yacht. Otherwise I should 
not have got back for another fortnight. Now I must tell you, Mr. 
Blunt, that before I started on this last expedition two years ago, I 
had the great fortune to become engaged to Mrs. Maurice Leigh 
Gordon " 
Tommy interrupted. 
"Mrs. Leigh Gordon was, before her marriage " 


"The Honorable Hermione Crane, second daughter of Lord Lan- 
chester," reeled off Tuppence glibly. 

Tommy threw her a glance of admiration. 

"Her first husband was killed in the War," added Tuppence. 

Gabriel Stavansson nodded. 

"That is quite correct. As I was saying, Hermione and I became 
engaged. I offered, of course, to give up this expedition, but she 
wouldn't hear of such a thing bless her! She's the right kind of 
woman for an explorer's wife. Well, my first thought on landing 
was to see Hermione. I sent a telegram from Southampton, and 
rushed up to town by the first train. I knew that she was living for 
the time being with an aunt of hers, Lady Susan Clonray, in Pont 
Street, and I went straight there. To my great disappointment, I 
found that Hermy was away visiting some friends in Northumber- 
land. Lady Susan was quite nice about it, after getting over her first 
surprise at seeing me. As I told you, I wasn't expected for another 
fortnight. She said Hermy would be returning in a few days' time. 
Then I asked for her address, but the old woman hummed and 
hawed said Hermy was staying at one or two different places, and 
that she wasn't quite sure what order she was taking them in. I may 
as well tell you, Mr. Blunt, that Lady Susan and I have never got on 
very well. She's one of those fat women with double chins. I loathe 
fat women always have fat women and fat dogs are an abomina- 
tion unto the Lord and unfortunately they so often go together! 
It's an idiosyncrasy of mine, I know but there it is I never can 
get on with a fat woman." 

"Fashion agrees with you, Mr. Stavansson," said Tommy dryly. 
"And everyone has his own pet aversion that of the late Lord 
Roberts was cats." 

"Mind you, I'm not saying that Lady Susan isn't a perfectly charm- 
ing woman she may be, but I've never taken to her. I've always felt, 
deep down, that she disapproved of our engagement, and I feel sure 
that she would influence Hermy against me if that were possible. 
I'm telling you this for what it's worth. Count it out as prejudice, if 
you like. Well, to go on with my story, I'm the kind of obstinate 
brute who likes his own way. I didn't leave Pont Street until I'd got 
out of her the names and addresses of the people Hermy was likely to 
be staying with. Then I took the mail train north." 


"You are, I perceive, a man of action, Mr. Stavansson," said 
Tommy, smiling. 

"The thing came upon me like a bombshell. Mr. Blunt, none of 
these people had seen a sign of Hermy! Of the three houses, only 
one had been expecting her Lady Susan must have made a bloomer 
over the other two and she had put off her visit there at the last 
moment by telegram. I returned post haste to London, of course, 
and went straight to Lady Susan. I will do her the justice to say that 
she seemed upset. She admitted that she had no idea where Hermy 
could be. All the same, she strongly negatived any idea of going to 
the police. She pointed out that Hermy was not a silly young girl, but 
an independent woman who had always been in the habit of making 
her own plans. She was probably carrying out some idea of her own. 

"I thought it quite likely that Hermy didn't want to report all her 
movements to Lady Susan. But I was still worried. I had that queer 
feeling one gets when something is wrong. I was just leaving when a 
telegram was brought to Lady Susan. She read it with an expression 
of relief and handed it to me. It ran as follows: CHANGED MY PLANS 


Tommy held out his hand. 

"You have got the telegram with you?" 

"No, I haven't. But it was handed in at Maldon, Surrey. I noticed 
that at the time, because it struck me as odd. What should Hermy be 
doing at Maldon? She'd no friends there that I had ever heard of." 

"You didn't think of rushing off to Monte Carlo in the same way 
that you had rushed north?" 

"I thought of it, of course. But I decided against it. You see, Mr. 
Blunt, whilst Lady Susan seemed quite satisfied by that telegram, I 
wasn't. It struck me as odd that she should always telegraph, not 
write. A line or two in her own handwriting would have set all my 
fears at rest. But anyone can sign a telegram HERMY. The more I 
thought it over, the more uneasy I got. In the end I went down to 
Maldon. That was yesterday afternoon. It's a fair-sized place good 
links there and all that two hotels. I inquired everywhere I could 
think of, but there wasn't a sign that Hermy had ever been there. 
Coming back in the train I read your advertisement, and I thought 
I'd put it up to you. If Hermy has really gone off to Monte Carlo, I 
don't want to set the police on her track and make a scandal, but I'm 


not going to be sent off on a wild-goose chase myself. I stay here in 
London, in case in case thereVbeen foul play of any kind." 

Tommy nodded thoughtfully. 

"What do you suspect exactly?" 

"I don't know. But I feel there's something wrong." 

With a quick movement, Stavansson took a case from his pocket 
and laid it open before them. 

"That is Hermione," he said. "I will leave it with you." 

The photograph represented a tall willowy woman, no longer in 
her first youth, but with a charming frank smile and lovely eyes. 

"Now, Mr. Stavansson," said Tommy. "There is nothing you have 
omitted to tell me?" 

"Nothing whatever." 

"No detail, however small?" 

"I don't think so." 

Tommy sighed. 

"That makes the task harder," he observed. "You must often have 
noticed, Mr. Stavansson, in reading of crime, how one small detail is 
all the great detective needs to set him on the track. I may say that 
this case presents some unusual features. I have, I think, practically 
solved it already, but time will show." 

He picked up the violin which lay on the table and drew the bow 
once or twice across the strings. Tuppence ground her teeth and even 
the explorer blenched. The performer laid the instrument down 


"A few chords from Mosgovskensky," he murmured. "Leave me 
your address, Mr. Stavansson, and I will report progress to you." 

As the visitor left the office, Tuppence grabbed the violin and put- 
ting it in the cupboard turned the key in the lock. 

"If you must be Sherlock Holmes," she observed, "I'll get you a 
nice little syringe and a bottle labeled COCAINE, but for God's sake 
leave that violin alone. If that nice explorer man hadn't been as sim- 
ple as a child, he'd have seen through you. Are you going on with the 
Sherlock Holmes touch?" 

"I flatter myself that I have carried it through very well so far," 
said Tommy with some complacence. "The deductions were good, 
weren't they? I had to risk the taxi. After all, it's the only sensible way 
of getting to this place." 


"It's lucky I had just read the bit about his engagement in this 
morning's Daily Mirror" remarked Tuppence. 

"Yes, that looked well for the efficiency of Blunt's Brilliant Detec- 
tives. This is decidedly a Sherlock Holmes case. Even you cannot 
have failed to notice the similarity between it and the disappearance 
of Lady Frances Carfax." 

"Do you expect to find Mrs. Leigh Gordon's body in a coffin?" 
"Logically, history should repeat itself. Actually well, what do 
you think?" 

"Well," said Tuppence. "The most obvious explanation seems to 
be that for some reason or other Hermy, as he calls her, is afraid to 
meet her fiance, and that Lady Susan is backing her up. In fact, to 
put it bluntly, she's come a cropper of some kind, and has got the 
wind up about it." 

"That occurred to me also," said Tommy. "But I thought we'd 
better make pretty certain before suggesting that explanation to a 
man like Stavansson. What about a run down to Maldon, old thing? 
And it would do no harm to take some golf clubs with us." 

Tuppence agreeing, the International Detective Agency was left in 
the charge of Albert. 

Maldon, though a well-known residential place, did not cover a 
large area. Tommy and Tuppence, making every possible inquiry 
that ingenuity could suggest, nevertheless drew a complete blank. It 
was as they were returning to London that a brilliant idea occurred 
to Tuppence. 

"Tommy, why did they put MALDON SURREY on the telegram?" 
"Because Maldon is in Surrey, idiot." 

"Idiot yourself I don't mean that. If you get a telegram from 
Hastings, say, or Torquay, they don't put the county after it. But 
from Richmond, they do put RICHMOND SURREY. That's because there 
are two Richmonds." 
Tommy, who was driving, slowed up. 

"Tuppence," he said affectionately, "your idea is not so dusty. Let 
us make inquiries at yonder post office." 

They drew up before a small building in the middle of a village 
street. A very few minutes sufficed to elicit the information that there 
were two Maldons. Maldon, Surrey, and Maldon, Sussex, the latter 
a tiny hamlet but possessed of a telegraph office. 


"That's it," said Tuppence excitedly. "Stavansson knew Maldon 
was in Surrey, so he hardly looked at the word beginning with S 
after Maldon." 

"Tomorrow," said Tommy, "we'll have a look at Maldon, Sussex." 

Maldon, Sussex, was a very different proposition from its Surrey 
namesake. It was four miles from a railway station, possessed two 
public houses, two small shops, a post and telegraph office combined 
with a sweet and picture-postcard business, and about seven small 
cottages. Tuppence took on the shops whilst Tommy betook himself 
to the Cock and Sparrow. They met half an hour later. 

"Well?" said Tuppence. 

"Quite good beer," said Tommy, "but no information." 

"You'd better try the King's Head," said Tuppence. "I'm going 
back to the post office. There's a sour old woman there, but I heard 
them yell to her that dinner was ready." 

She returned to the place, and began examining postcards. A fresh- 
faced girl, still munching, came out of the back room. 

"I'd like these, please," said Tuppence. "And do you mind waiting 
whilst I just look over these comic ones?" 

She sorted through a packet, talking as she did so. 

"I'm ever so disappointed you couldn't tell me my sister's address. 
She's staying near here and I've lost her letter. Leigh Wood, her 
name is." 

The girl shook her head. 

"I don't remember it. And we don't get many letters through here 
either so I probably should if I'd seen it on a letter. Apart from the 
Grange, there isn't many big houses round about." 

"What is the Grange?" asked Tuppence. "Who does it belong to?" 

"Dr. Horriston has it. It's turned into a Nursing Home now. Nerve 
cases mostly, I believe. Ladies that come down for rest cures, and all 
that sort of thing. Well, it's quiet enough down here, Heaven knows." 
She giggled. 

Tuppence hastily selected a few cards and paid for them. 

"That's Dr. Horriston's car coming along now," exclaimed the girl. 

Tuppence hurried to the shop door. A small two-seater was pass- 
ing. At the wheel was a tall dark man with a neat black beard and a 
powerful, unpleasant face. The car went straight on down the street. 
Tuppence saw Tommy crossing the road towards her. 


"Tommy, I believe I've got it. Dr. Horriston's Nursing Home." 

"I heard about it at the King's Head, and I thought there might 
be something in it. But if she's had a nervous breakdown or any- 
thing of that sort, her aunt and her friends would know about it 

"Ye-es. I didn't mean that. Tommy, did you see that man in the 

"Unpleasant-looking brute, yes." 

"That was Dr. Horriston." 

Tommy whistled. 

"Shifty-looking beggar. What do you say about it, Tuppence? 
Shall we go and have a look at the Grange?" 

They found the place at last, a big rambling house, surrounded by 
deserted grounds, with a swift mill stream running behind the house. 

"Dismal sort of 'abode," said Tommy. "It gives me the creeps, Tup- 
pence. You know, I've a feeling this is going to turn out a far more 
serious matter than we thought at first." 

"Oh don't. If only we are in time. That woman's in some awful 
danger, I feel it in my bones." 

"Don't let your imagination run away with you." 

"I can't help it. I mistrust that man. What shall we do ? I think it 
would be a good plan if I went and rang the bell alone first, and asked 
boldly for Mrs. Leigh Gordon just to see what answer I get. Because, 
after all, it may be perfectly fair and above board." 

Tuppence carried out her plan. The door was opened almost im- 
mediately by a manservant with an impassive face. 

"I want to see Mrs. Leigh Gordon if she is well enough to see me." 

She fancied that there was a momentary flicker of the man's eye- 
lashes, but he answered readily enough. 

"There is no one of that name here, Madam." 

"Oh, surely. This is Dr. Horriston's place, The Grange, is it not?" 

"Yes, madam, but there is nobody of the name of Mrs. Leigh Gor- 
don here." 

Baffled, Tuppence was forced to withdraw and hold a further con- 
sultation with Tommy outside the gate. 

"Perhaps he was speaking the truth. After all, we don't \now." 

"He wasn't. He was lying. I'm sure of it." 

"Wait until the doctor comes back," said Tommy. "Then I'll pass 


myself oft as a journalist anxious to discuss his new system of rest 
cure with him. That will give me a chance of getting inside and 
studying the geography of the place." 

The doctor returned about half an hour later. Tommy gave him 
about five minutes, then he in turn marched up to the front door. But 
he too returned baffled. 

"The doctor was engaged and couldn't be disturbed. And he never 
sees journalists. Tuppence, you're right. There's something fishy 
about this place. It's ideally situated miles from anywhere. Any 
mortal thing could go on here, and no one would ever know." 

"Come on," said Tuppence, with determination. 

"What are you going to do?" 

"I'm going to climb over the wall, and see if I can't get up to the 
house quietly without being seen." 

"Right. I'm with you." 

The garden was somewhat overgrown, and afforded a multitude of 
cover. Tommy and Tuppence managed to reach the back of the house 

Here there was a wide terrace, with some crumbling steps leading 
down from it. In the middle some French windows opened onto the 
terrace, but they dared not step out into the open, and the windows 
where they were crouching were too high for them to be able to look 
in. It did not seem as though their reconnaissance would be much 
use, when suddenly Tuppence tightened her grasp on Tommy's arm. 

Someone was speaking in the room close to them. The window 
was open and the fragment of conversation came clearly to their ears. 

"Come in, come in, and shut the door," said a man's voice irritably. 
"A lady came about an hour ago, you said, and asked for Mrs. Leigh 

Tuppence recognized the answering voice as that of the impassive 

"Yes, sir." 

"You said she wasn't here, of course?" 

"Of course, sir." 

"And now this journalist fellow," fumed the other. 

He came suddenly to the window, throwing up the sash, and the 
two outside, peering through a screen of bushes, recognized Dr. 


"It's the woman I mind most about," continued the doctor. "What 
did she look like?" 

"Young, good-looking, and very smartly dressed, sir." 

Tommy nudged Tuppence in the ribs. 

"Exactly," said the doctor between his teeth. "As I feared. Some 
friend of the Leigh Gordon woman's. It's getting very difficult. I shall 
have to take steps . . ." 

He left the sentence unfinished. Tommy and Tuppence heard the 
door close. There was silence. 

Gingerly, Tommy led the retreat. When they had reached a little 
clearing not far away, but out of earshot from the house, he spoke. 

"Tuppence, old thing, this is getting serious. They mean mischief. 
I think we ought to get back to town at once and see Stavansson." 

To his surprise Tuppence shook her head. 

"We must stay down here. Didn't you hear him say he was going 
to take steps ? That might mean anything." 

"The worst of it is we've hardly got a case to go to the police on." 

"Listen, Tommy. Why not ring up Stavansson from the village? 
I'll stay around here." 

"Perhaps that is the best plan," agreed her husband. "But, I say 
Tuppence " 


"Take care of yourself won't you?" 

"Of course I shall, you silly old thing. Cut along." 

It was some two hours later that Tommy returned. He found Tup- 
pence awaiting him near the gate. 


"I couldn't get on to Stavansson. Then I tried Lady Susan. She was 
out too. Then I thought of ringing up old Brady. I asked him to look 
up Horriston in the Medical Directory or whatever the thing calls 

"Well, what did Dr. Brady say?" 

"Oh he knew the name at once. Horriston was once a bona-fide 
doctor, but he came a cropper of some kind. Brady called him a most 
unscrupulous quack, and said he, personally, wouldn't be surprised 
at anything. The question is, what are we to do now?" 

"We must stay here," said Tuppence instantly. "I've a feeling 
they mean something to happen tonight. By the way, a gardener has 


been clipping ivy round the house. Tommy, / saw where he put the 

"Good for you, Tuppence," said her husband appreciatively. "Then 

tonight " 

"As soon as it's dark " 

"We shall see - 

"What we shall see." 

Tommy took his turn at watching the house whilst Tuppence 
went to the village and had some food. 

Then she returned and they took up the vigil together. At nine 
o'clock, they decided that it was dark enough to commence opera- 
tions. They were now able to circle round the house in perfect free- 
dom. Suddenly Tuppence clutched Tommy by the arm. 


The sound she had heard came again, borne faintly on the night 
air. It was the moan of a woman in pain. Tuppence pointed upward 
to a window on the first floor. 

"It came from that room," she whispered. 

Again that low moan rent the stillness of the night. 

The two listeners decided to put their original plan into action. 
Tuppence led the way to where she had seen the gardener put the 
ladder. Between them they carried it to the side of the house from 
which they had heard the moaning. All the blinds of the ground- 
floor rooms were drawn, but this particular window upstairs was 

Tommy put the ladder as noiselessly as possible against the side 

of the house. 

"I'll go up," whispered Tuppence. "You stay below. I don't mind 
climbing ladders and you can steady it better than I could. And in 
case the doctor should come round the corner you'd be able to deal 
with him and I shouldn't." 

Nimbly Tuppence hurried up the ladder, and raised her head 
cautiously to look in at the window. Then she ducked it swiftly, but 
after a minute or two brought it very slowly up again. She stayed 
there for about five minutes. Then she came down quickly. 

"It's her," she said breathlessly and ungrammatically. "But oh, 
Tommy, it's horrible. She's lying there in bed, moaning, and turning 
to and fro and just as I got there a woman dressed as a nurse came 


in. She bent over her and injected something in her arm and then 
went away again. What shall we do?" 

"Is she conscious?" 

"I think so. I'm almost sure she is. I fancy she may be strapped to 
the bed. I'm going up again, and if I can, I'm going to get into that 


"I say, Tuppence " 

"If I'm in any sort of danger I'll yell for you. So long." 

Avoiding further argument Tuppence hurried up the ladder again. 
Tommy saw her try the window, then noiselessly push up the sash. 
Another second, and she had disappeared inside. 

And now an agonizing time came for Tommy. He could hear 
nothing at first. Tuppence and Mrs. Leigh Gordon must be talking 
in whispers if they were talking at all. Presently he did hear a low 
murmur of voices and drew a breath of relief. But suddenly the 
voices stopped. Dead silence. 

Tommy strained his ears. Nothing. What could they be doing? 

Suddenly a hand fell on his shoulder. 

"Come on," said Tuppence's voice out of the darkness. 

"Tuppence! How did you get here?" 

"Through the front door. Let's get out of this." 

"Get out of this?" 

"That's what I said." 

"But Mrs. Leigh Gordon?" 

In a tone of indescribable bitterness Tuppence replied: 

"Getting thin!" 

Tommy looked at her, suspecting irony. 

"What do you mean?" 

"What I say. Getting thin. Slinkiness. Reduction of weight. Didn't 
you hear Stavansson say he hated fat women? In the two years he's 
been away, his Hermy has put on weight. Got a panic when she 
knew he was coming back, and rushed off to do this new treatment 
of Dr. Horriston's. It's injections of some sort, and he makes a 
deadly secret of it, and charges through the nose. I daresay he is a 
quack but he's a damned successful one! Stavansson comes home 
a fortnight too soon, when she's only beginning the treatment. Lady 
Susan has been sworn to secrecy, and plays up. And we come down 
here and make blithering idiots of ourselves!" 


Tommy drew a deep breath. 

"I believe, Watson," he said with dignity, "that there is a very good 
concert at the Queen's Hall tomorrow. We shall be in plenty of time 
for it. And you will oblige me by not placing this case upon your 
records. It has absolutely no distinctive features." 




Anthony Boucher, creator of Fergus O'Breen, Nicf{ Noble, and 
Sister Ursula a stellar triumvirate of fictional detectives 
focuses the microscope of Sherloc\ Holmes 's analytical mind 
on the problem of Rudolf Hess, the sensational one-man inva- 
sion of Great Britain. History alone will confirm or shatter the 
truth of Holmes' s startling solution. 

It is interesting to note in passing the cognominal affinity 
between Anthony Boucher and Sherloc^ Holmes. Is it sheer 
coincidence that Anthony Boucher's alter-pseudonym is H. H. 
Holmes? 1 

This stimulating pastiche has never before appeared in print. 



.HE LEAN old man on the Sussex bee farm looked up from the 
newspapers spread before him and announced, "The most interest- 
ing man in the world at this moment, this May of 1941, is a hitherto 
obscure German named Horn." 

His friend stirred his tea testily. "Hang it, old man, have you 
found some obscurely fascinating personal again? I thought all the 
interest in the papers was centered on this chap Hess." 

The lean old man smiled. "Precisely, my dear fellow. All the inter- 
est is centered on this chap Hess, and no one has bothered to notice 
that Rudolf Hess must have been murdered a month ago." 

X A whimsy: the pseudonym actually derives from that of die infamous American 
murderer, Dr. H. H. Holmes, ne Herman Mudgett (1860-1895), who eventually con- 
fessed to averaging two murders per year over a period of fourteen years. 


"Murdered?" His friend's eyes held for a moment the gleam of a 
retired hunting dog who hears the horns. Then the gleam faded. 
"Only another Jerry . . ." he said dully. 

"Ah, but what a Jerry! Some call him a Trojan Horse, some a 
traitor a dove of peace, a spy. While we know that he must be ... 
But here: Read these two paragraphs from the official statement 

dated May 12." 
The aged doctor fumbled with his glasses and read from the paper: 

He was taken to a hospital in Glasgow, where he first gave his 
name as Horn but later on he declared he was Rudolf Hess. 

He brought with him various photographs of himself at different 
ages, apparently in order to establish his identity. 

He read the paragraphs twice, then looked up vacuously. 

"Come, come!" the lean old man snapped. "You know my meth- 
ods. Can you not see how clearly those sentences tell us that this 
'Hess' is an impostor?" His temper faded, and he looked at his 
friend with pity and sympathy. "Well, well; the years glide by, 
Postumus and I even find myself quoting Horace rather than 
Hafiz. I no longer have the right to be so harsh with your dullness. 
But listen, and you shall understand." 

His thumb crammed shag from the Persian slipper into the black- 
ened clay. "Those photographs have been accepted as providing abso- 
lute proof of his identity. In fact, they disprove it completely. 

"Say that he was coming on a mission to the Duke of Hamilton. 
The men have met. They have exchanged correspondence in which a 
signal could have been arranged. And yet we are expected to believe 
that Hess would walk in on the Duke and present him with a photo- 
graph as identification. Patent nonsense! 

"Or say that his mission was to the people of England. Our intel- 
ligence service is not all dolts. Scotland Yard with men like Wilson 
and French and Alleyn is not what it was in the days of Lestrade. 
They have the minutest descriptions and pictures of every enemy 
leader. And yet he brings his own pictures! 

"The real Hess would never have carried pictures. But anyone not 
Hess, but resembling him, would have had the strongest motive for 
carrying just those pictures which most stressed the resemblance." 


He paused for a moment, and his friend said, "Amazing!" 

"Elementary," he retorted. It was like ritual antiphon and response. 
"But the episode of the name is even more revealing. 

"This 'Hess' was in Britain deliberately; his Messerschmitt could 
not have made the round flight, so that he must have intended to 
land. He was distinctively dressed: fine uniform, gold watch, gold 
wrist compass. Whatever his purpose, he could carry it out only by 
virtue of being Hess. 

"Nevertheless, even with those curious photos on him, when he is 
first questioned he states that his name is Horn. 

"Again nonsense ... if he is Hess. But if he were Herr Horn, 
nervous, confused, his wrenched leg aching, what more natural than 
that in that first tense moment he should automatically reply with 
his true name?" 

Dense clouds of shag smoke filled the room as the lean old man 
eagerly went on: "Realize that, and see how much else falls into 

"Hess is described in an early dispatch as a strict vegetarian; Herr 
Horn is fussy about his salmon and chicken. 

"Hess has lung lesions from the war, a scalp wound from 1919, and 
tuberculosis of the bone from a skiing injury; the Glasgow hospital 
report on Herr Horn mentions only heart trouble and gallstones. 

"Hess is reputedly a devoted father; Herr Horn has abandoned the 
Hess child to a man not noted for mercy. 

"Hess is a soldier, a flyer, and presumably not a fool; Herr Horn 
arrives in Scotland in an unarmed plane, totally defenseless against 
the RAF, who might reasonably be slow to understand the motive of 
a Messerschmitt's visit." 

His friend roused himself. "But I say, old man, why should even 
your Herr Horn venture against the RAF unarmed?" 

"It is obvious enough: Because he was meant to die. Because his 
death, as Hess, was essential to the murderers of Hess." 

"Oh. Some dastardly plot of that devil Von Bork, no doubt." 

The lean old man smiled. "Von Bork has been dead these twenty- 
five years. But there are still devils in his land, and one of them mur- 
dered Rudolf Hess. Why, I shall let the political experts explain. 

"But it is obvious that Hess's murder was dangerous; it might 


cause serious disaffection among his followers, even revolt. So he 
must be given a brave new death, glorious in battle. You will recall 
the curious episode of the martial death of Werner von Fritsch? 

"Horn was probably Bess's habitual double. Say he was told that 
Hess was ill, that he must keep a secret tryst for him. He was pro- 
vided with identification and with the map marking the Hamilton 
estate, chosen doubtless because of the Duke's dubious prewar con- 
nections. His instructions would be to lie low after the appointment 
(hence the concentrated foods which he carried) until he could be 
smuggled out. 

"Instead, of course, he was to be shot down by the RAF or, if that 
failed, by the German plane which he thought was his escort. (The 
newspaper reports are still doubtful as to whether the bullet holes in 
his plane came from the RAF.) But by some trick of our ever ironic 
Providence, his plane escaped. He landed ... and wrenched his 


"That, my dear fellow, if you will forgive a pawky wit worthy of 
your own, was the turning point. Helpless because of his leg, he was 
captured and haled before the authorities. He mumbled his real 
name; but that would not be believed for a moment once his "iden- 
tification' was seen. And then- 

"I admire the poor worm. This nonentity, this weakling double 
in one moment he achieved a stroke of daring that Moran or 
Moriarty might have envied. He calmly said, 'Yes. I am Hess.' And 
who was there to deny him?" 

"Who but you?" his friend marveled. "The only man in the British 

Empire who " 

"It was nothing. You know my tenet: Eliminate the impossible. 
And here nothing can remain but the murder of Hess and the 
inspired masquerade of Herr Horn, while Goebbels and Duff-Cooper 
go mad contradicting each other and themselves in every fresh dis- 

A smile of triumph lingered on his thin lips, then gave way to 
gravity. "But when I think of the future, this is more than an amusing 

little problem. 

"For the moment, the capture of Hess seems a great British tri- 
umph. But when we have kept him for years, learning nothing from 


him, profiting nothing by this stroke, when some few have guessed 
the truth but are afraid to reveal it lest we lose face ... It may 
prove serious. 

"Suppose that our allies, and we are bound to have more allies as 
this devilish war drags on, demand to see and use our prisoner. Sup- 
pose that our enemy conceives the ingenious notion of sending Frau 
Hess to join her husband; she would know the double Horn and at 
once upset the applecart. 

"No, this comedy may yet prove deadly earnest. And when it 
does . . . There may be work for us yet, Watson." 

His friend was asleep. The lean old man smiled, took down his 
violin, and began to play softly. 



Dear Mr. Holmes: 

For many years, in company with the legion of your devoted 
followers, I have been fascinated by the numerous references of 
Dr. Watson to your unrecorded cases. 

By an understandable perversity of the mind, my imagination 
has seized with special zest upon those unrecorded cases of 
yours which, as Watson points out so jorthrightly, you failed to 

I can well imagine your irritation at reading the good doc- 
tor's blunt statement in "The Problem of Thor Bridge" l that 
you had fizzled a number of cases, among them the singular 
affair of Mr. James Phillimore who, "stepping bac\ into his 
own house to get his umbrella, was never more seen in this 

No one likes to be reminded of his failures. 1 would not do so 
now, if not for my certainty that you will be professionally 
interested in my remarkable experience recently. 

Imagine my astonishment when, early in the year of 1943, 
my father, Inspector Richard Queen of the New Yor{ Police 
Department, brought to my attention the case of Mr. James 
Phillimore of New Yorf(, who stepped bac\ into his own house 
as if to get his umbrella (after anxiously studying the sky for 
signs of rain} and to all intents and purposes vanished from 
this world! 

I could not believe my ears, although at the time I said noth- 
ing about it to my father. Such a coincidence stretched credence 
far beyond the breaking point. It was inconceivable, as you will 
be the first to agree, that two James Phillimores should spring 

1 THE CASE-BOOK OF SHERLOCK HOLMES; London, Murray, 1927; New York, Doran, 


up fifty years apart, that they should both go bac\ into their 
houses for an umbrella? and that they should then disappear 
as if from the face of the earth inconceivable that there should 
be no connection between the two men and the two situations. 
Naturally, I went to wor\ on the case despite my handicap 
of confinement to bed with a cold. But all through . my inves- 
tigation one part of my brain was trying to reconcile the incon- 
ceivable with the conceivable. And after I had solved the case, I 
made an entirely different inquiry I tried to discover the 
connection between the James Phillimore of London in the 
closing years of the iqth Century and the James Phillimore of 
New Yor{ in the early years of the fifth decade of the 20th 
Century. And I found it! 

My James Phillimore proved to be the grandson of yours 
(you will recall that the Phillimore family migrated to Amer- 
ica after your brush with them). I found evidence that Grand- 
son James had access to certain old records of his grandfather, 
your adversary, and that, when the occasion arose in his own 
lifetime, he duplicated the technique of his grandfather's dis- 

Consequently, my solution of the case must bear a close paral- 
lel to the facts of the grandfather's disappearance it may even 
be, although I hesitate to push the claim forward, that I was 
fortunate enough to succeed in exactly the situation in which 
you, the great master of us all, failed. 

In any event, I gave the facts to the world in a radio broad- 
cast. It may be that you were not tuned in that evening there 
are so many detective-story programs, and you must be heartily 
sicJ^ of them. If you did not hear the modern version of the 
disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore, here is the full story as 
I unfolded it that night on the air. 

Could you possibly arrange to write me your comments? 

Respectfully yours, 


P.S. If you should honor me by writing, would you mind 
making sure that your letter is not signed in your name by 
some ethereal secretary, or even by Dr. Watson? I should ap- 

2 It turned out to be the identical umbrella I 


predate very much having a genuine Sherloct^ Holmes auto- 
graph and a photograph ij you've had one fallen recently. 

E. Q. 

The Characters 

MR. JAMES PHILLIMORE >,;,-.;. who disappears 

BIGGS . . ;,-:;,; , .j,,.- r/ . r/ ,. his man 

COAL MAN briefly 


NIKKI PORTER TLllery's secretary 

INSPECTOR QUEEN .... TLllery's father 

SERGEANT VELIE .... the Inspector's subordinate 

ELLERY QUEEN who solves a difficult case, 

perforce, on his bac\ 

SHERLOCK. HOLMES . . . present in spirit only 

The Scenes 

The Queen Apartment Mr. Phillimore's House 
SCENE i: The Queen Apartment 

(ELLERY is in bed with a cold. NIKKI is firmly ministering to him.) 
NIKKI: Drink the rest of your orange juice, Ellery. 

ELLERY: But Nikki, I don't want orange juice. I want to get out of 
bed. (He has a coughing spell) 

NIKKI: With that cough? Drink it. 

ELLERY : Nikki, it's just a cold and we've got a lot of work to do on 
my novel 

NIKKI: You're staying in bed, Mr. Queen, until you stop coughing. 
You can dictate from bed. 

ELLERY: (Grumpily) All right. Get your notebook. 

NIKKI: Never knew a man yet who didn't act like a puppy with a 
sore nose when he was sick. (Door opens off) Inspector? 


INSPECTOR: Yes, Nikki. How's the sick man? (LLERY coughs) Say, 

that's a bad cough, son 

NIKKI: And he wants to get out of bed, Inspector! 
INSPECTOR: (Grimly) Oh, he does ? Well, he's not going to. (Chuckles) 

It's a shame, too. 

ELLERY: What's a shame? What are you looking so gay about, Dad? 
INSPECTOR: It's a great day, son. Yes, sir! I've got a rendezvous with 
Velie to close the book on the career of a bird who should have 
been in jail years ago. 
ELLERY: Who's that, Dad? 
INSPECTOR: Little Jim. 
ELLERY: Little Jim? (Groans) 
NIKKI: Who is Little Jim, Inspector? 

INSPECTOR: James Phillimore, Nikki The 20 Per Cent King. 
ELLERY : And I have to be laid up! I'm getting out of 

INSPECTOR: You're staying right where you are. (Wieldly) We were 
tipped off that Little Jim made a reservation on this morning s 
plane to South America. So I threw a squad around his house last 
night and we'll grab Mr. Phillimore when he leaves with that 
satchel full of John Q. Public's dough. 

NIKKI: What's his racket, Inspector? 

INSPECTOR: He "invests" your money for you. Guarantees 20 per cent 

NIKKI: But how can he keep paying 20 per cent? 

ELLERY: It's very simple, Nikki. Little Jim takes your $100, pays out 
$20 that leaves him $80. 

NIKKI: But Ellery, he can't do that indefinitely! 

INSPECTOR: There's always a fresh crop of suckers, Nikki. The new 
money keeps paying off the old interest. 

NIKKI: But eventually a lot of people must want all their money 


ELLERV : When that unhappy moment comes, Nikki, Little Jim packs 
up the remaining assets and departs hastily for cooler climes. Same 
old story, Dad. Remember William F. Miller and his "Franklin 
Syndicate" in 1899? 

INSPECTOR: Yep. Well, this time Little Jim waited too long. So we're 
going to recover the sucker money and wrap Mr. James Phillimore 
up for immediate delivery to the DA. Nikki, take care of Ellery. 

NIKKI: I will, Inspector. (INSPECTOR exits) 

ELLERY: Blast it. ... Dad! Let me know how you make out! 

SCENE 2: Exterior of the Phillimore House 

(SERGEANT VELIE is s\ul\ing behind a bush. INSPECTOR QUEEN ap- 
proaches surreptitiously?) 

VELIE: Hi, Inspector. 

INSPECTOR: Morning, Velie. How goes it? 

VELIE: Smooth as a baby's neck, Inspector. Not a soul's left the house 
since we checked Little Jim in last night. I've been watchin' from 
the front gate here. Huh . . . Here comes Little Jim now! 

INSPECTOR : Marching out of his front door with his black bag, cocky 
as an Irish cop. Down, Velie! Let him walk right into the arms of 
the law. 

VELIE: What a runt. 

INSPECTOR: Five-foot-one of pure cussedness. Wait a minute why's 
he stopped ? What's he looking up at the sf(y for? 

VELIE: (Intently) Says to himself: "Looks like rain. So I'll turn 
around and go back into the house for an umbrella " and there 
he goes, Inspector! 

INSPECTOR: Where, Velie? I've lost him under that portico in front of 
the door ! Let's get closer I want to make sure he doesn't pull a 
sneak. (They hurry towards the house, dodging from bush to 


VELIE: That little twerp is li'ble to pull anything. There he is, In- 

pector! See him now? 
INSPECTOR: Yeah. Back into the house. (Front door slams} We'll 

wait right here, Velie, till he comes out again. Got to nab him with 

that bag on him. 
VELIE: Inspector, if Little Jim gets outa this house without us or the 

boys spotting him, he ain't a fraud artist he's a magician! 

SCENE 3: Same, Fifteen Minutes Later 

(INSPECTOR QUEEN paces in front of the Phillimore house restlessly. 
SERGEANT VELIE appears from the side driveway.) 

INSPECTOR: Well, Velie? What do the men say? 

VELIE: They say nobody's left the house, Inspector. So Little Jim's 
still inside. 

INSPECTOR: Fifteen minutes to get an umbrella? Use your head, Velie! 
Phillimore spotted us he's up to something. I'm not waiting any 
longer! (They run to the front door) Ring that bell, Velie! 

VELIE: (Rings bell} I tell ya, Inspector, it's O.K. (Door opens) Uh, 
uh. Who's this beanpole ? 

BIGGS: (A very tall thin man) Yes, sir? 

INSPECTOR: Where's Little Jim? 

BIGGS: Beg pardon, sir? 

INSPECTOR: James Phillimore! Where is he? 

BIGGS: Oh. Mr. Phillimore is not here, sir. 

VELIE: Now, listen, Daddy Longlegs, Little Jim came outa here fif- 
teen minutes ago, ducked right back in and he ain't been out 

INSPECTOR: I'm Inspector Queen of Police Headquarters. Quit stall- 
ing! Where's Phillimore ? 

BIGGS: But you must be mistaken, sir. Mr. Phillimore did leave 
fifteen minutes ago, but I didn't see him return 


INSPECTOR: Well, we did. Velie, search the house. I'll wait here in 
the foyer with this man. 

VELIE: (Going) Phillimore's last stand, huh? Play in' hard to get 
(He disappears up the front staircase) 

INSPECTOR: So you're covering up for him. Who are you? 
BIGGS: Mr. Phillimore's man, sir, Jonathan Biggs, sir. 

INSPECTOR: (Chuckling) Quite a team, aren't you? Phillimore's a 
five-footer and you're six foot four, Mr. Biggs, if you're an inch. 

BIGGS: Yes, sir. Mr. Phillimore wouldn't engage anyone but a very 
tall person. He's so sensitive about his height, sir. 

INSPECTOR: Yes, these little guys cause all the trouble. 

BIGGS: I wouldn't know about that, ; sir. But Mr. Phillimore gets 
furious if you refer to him as "little." That's why he wears a 
beard, sir. (Confidentially) I believe it makes him feel bigger and 
more masterful. 

INSPECTOR: Well, he'll get a quick trim in Sing Sing. (Calling) 
Velie! What's taking you so long? 

VELIE: (From upstairs) I guess Jimmy-boy wants to play peekaboo, 

INSPECTOR: I'll peekaboo him. Biggs, why's it so cold in this house? 
Run out of oil-ration coupons? 

BIGGS: Oh, no, sir. We burn coal. 

INSPECTOR: Then why don't you burn some? The temperature here 
would discourage an Eskimo. 

BIGGS: I was about to go down to the cellar, sir, when you arrived. 
We're expecting a coal delivery this morning I was going to put 
the last few shovelsful in the furnace . . . 

INSPECTOR: Don't let me keep you. But come right back. (Bices leaves) 
Brr. (Calling) Velie, how long does it take to find one man in 
one house? 

VELIE: (From upstairs) You tell me, Inspector! I'm still lookin'I 


SCENE 4: Interior, Phillimore House, Later 

(INSPECTOR QUEEN is still in the foyer; BIGGS has returned from the 
cellar. SERGEANT VELIE appears, shading his head.} 

INSPECTOR: What's the matter, Velie? Where's Little Jim? 

VELIE: Inspector, I'm baffled. 

BIGGS: I told you, sir Mr. Phillimore isn't here. 

INSPECTOR: Then you didn't cover everything, Velie. 

VELIE: Izzat so? I looked my eyes out! Every room. 

INSPECTOR: Velie, I'm in no mood for gags. 

VELIE: (Hotly) Who's gaggin'? I'm not gaggin', Inspector. He ain't 


INSPECTOR: Did you look in the basement? The attic? All the closets? 
VELIE : I tell ya I looked every place, Inspector. 
INSPECTOR: But Velie, you stay here in the house. I'll send a few 

of the boys in to help you make another search. Meanwhile, you 

Biggs don't leave this house. Is that clear ? 

BIGGS: Perfectly, sir. 

INSPECTOR: Velie, keep your eye on this long drink of water. He's 
too smooth to suit me. Another thing. I'm giving strict orders to 
the men on duty outside that no one leaves this house except you 
and me, Velie, unless he's got one of my cards as a pass and 
signed by me, to boot! 

VELIE: But Inspector, I tell you Little Jim ain't here. 

INSPECTOR: (Angry} He must be here! Biggs, get out of my way. 
I'm going home and talk to Ellery! 

SCENE 5: The Queen Apartment 

(INSPECTOR QUEEN has returned home and told ELLERY, still sicJ^ in 
bed, the astonishing story of the man who went bac\ into his 
house for an umbrella and vanished. The INSPECTOR, NIKKI, and 
ELLERY are in ELLERY'S bedroom.} 


ELLERY: You've got it all down, Nikki? 

NIKKI: Yes, Ellery. Full description of Mr. Phillimore's house and 
all the rooms. 

ELLERY: Now Dad. You and Velie saw James Phillimore come out 
through the front door. You saw him pause, look up at the sky, 
and . . . you unquestionably saw him go back inside ? 

INSPECTOR: How many times do I have to tell you? He went back in! 

ELLERY: Then that's a fact. (He reflects earnestly} After Little Jim 
went back into the house, no one left it, you say ? 

INSPECTOR: My men had every possible exit covered, son. 
ELLERY: Obviously, then, Little Jim is still in there. 

NIKKI: But Ellery, Sergeant Velie and the other detectives searched 
every nook and cranny! 

ELLERY : That's what makes this such an interesting problem, Nikki. 
Dad, let's start at the bottom of the house and work up. How about 
the cellar? 

INSPECTOR: Solid concrete. Floor, ceiling, walls all tapped. 
ELLERY : Any packing cases in the cellar ? Old trunks ? 

INSPECTOR: No. All we found down there are two coal bins. One 
empty, the other with a couple of shovelsful of coal in it. The 
basement's out, Ellery. 

ELLERY: The ground floor 

NIKKI: Three rooms living room, study, kitchen. 

ELLERY: Living room first. Dad, how about the fireplace? 

INSPECTOR: Thoroughly investigated. Also all the walls, floor, ceiling 
not only in that room but in every room in the house, Ellery. 

ELLERY: Does the living room have a grand piano? 
INSPECTOR: By Jove, yes! I wonder if Velie looked in there. 

ELLERY: Note, Nikki: Search interior of piano. (NIKKI ma\es a 
note} Now the kitchen. Closets? Pantry? 

INSPECTOR: All covered. 


ELLERY: Refrigerator? Remember, Phillimore's only five foot one 
and skinny as a spindle. 

INSPECTOR: I'd better check with Velie on that, son. 
NIKKI: (As if noting) Check . . . refrigerator. 
ELLERY: The study. Is there a safe? 

INSPECTOR: Yes. Phillimore's man, Biggs, opened it for us. Nothing 
in the safe but unimportant papers. 

ELLERY: What about the foyer, Dad? 

INSPECTOR: Suit of armor. 

NIKKI: I'll bet that's it! 

INSPECTOR: You'd lose, Nikki. We looked inside. 

NIKKI: I suppose all the closets were searched, too? 

INSPECTOR: Every one in the house, upstairs and down. And the 
bathrooms. And the attic and the roof 

ELLERY: That's the whole house, then. No! The garage 
INSPECTOR: We went through it. 
ELLERY: Did you search the car? 

INSPECTOR: I left that to Velie. However, I'd better check it personally. 
Note car trunk compartment, Nikki. 

ELLERY : Nikki, go back to Phillimore's house with Dad. When Dad's 
checked the piano, refrigerator, and car, phone me the results. 

NIKKI: I can see it coming, though Mr. James Phillimore isn't 
hiding in any of those places, Ellery! 

ELLERY: I'm inclined to agree, Nikki. Toughest case all winter, 
and I have to investigate it on my back! 

SCENE 6: The Phillimore House, Later 

(INSPECTOR QUEEN, NIKKI, VELIE and BIGGS are in the lower hall. 
A doorbell rings from the rear of the house.) 

INSPECTOR: Biggs, what's that bell? 

BIGGS: The rear door, Inspector. (They all troop into the \itchen} 


INSPECTOR: Velie, unlock it and slide the bolt. 

VELIE: Uh-huh. (He obeys and opens door. A workman with sooty 
hands and face stands outside} Yeah? 

COAL MAN: Coal company. Got two tons to deliver. 

NIKKI: It's about time. It was warm here for a while, but now it's 
getting cold again. 

COAL MAN: Well, if it's O.K. . . . 

VELIE: Now, now. Don't step inside, fella. 

INSPECTOR: Velie, go outside with this man. Let him run his coal 
chute into the cellar window to the bin, but he's not to set foot 
in any part of the house. 

VELIE: Yes, sir. Anybody with you, my anthracite friend? 
COAL MAN: I got a helper. 

INSPECTOR: Stick with both of 'em every second, Velie. (VELIE leaves; 
INSPECTOR loc\s and bolts the door) Now, Nikki, let's you and I 
search those places Ellery mentioned! 

SCENE 7: The Same, Later 

(The rear doorbell rings. INSPECTOR QUEEN unlocks and unbolts 

the door.) 

INSPECTOR: Oh, Velie. Well? What's about the coal? 
VELIE: It's in, Inspector. 

COAL MAN: (From behind VELIE) Hey, this big guy says I gotta 
have a pass to let me and my helper out. What goes here, anyway ? 
(The INSPECTOR ma\es out a pass and signs it) 

INSPECTOR: Here's your pass. Velie, go out with 'em and better 
examine that truck, just to make sure. (VELIE and the COAL MAN 
leave, and the INSPECTOR rejastens the door) Nikki! Where are you ? 

NIKKI: (From another room) In the study alcove off the foyer, 

INSPECTOR: Whom are you talking to, Nikki? (He joins her in the 
study alcove) 


NIKKI: Ellery on the phone. He's furious. 

ELLERY : (On the telephone throughout} Nothing in the piano, Nikki? 

NIKKI: Only strings and sounding board, Ellery. 

ELLERY: Don't be cute! Refrigerator? 

NIKKI: Filled with goodies. Which reminds me. I'm starved. 

ELLERY: (Groaning) A man vanishes like the Cheshire cat and she's 

hungry! What about the car in the garage? 
NIKKI: He's not in it, Ellery. Now what shall I tell the Inspector 

to do? 

ELLERY: Blessed if I know. Anything new happen? 
NIKKI: A coal truck just delivered two tons of coal. 
ELLERY: What! (Excitedly) Let me talk to Dad! 
NIKKI: Your celebrated son wishes a word with you, Inspector. 

(She hands the telephone to INSPECTOR QUEEN) 
INSPECTOR: Now Ellery, keep your shirt on. I kept the two coal men 
from entering the house and Velie was with 'em every minute. So 
Little Jim can't have sneaked out through the cellar window. 
ELLERY: I realize that, Dad. But don't you realize that he may be 

playing hide-and-go-seek with you? 
INSPECTOR: Come again? 

ELLERY: While you were searching one part of the house, Phillimore 
may have been hiding in another part. When you came to his 
part, he slipped off to still another place! How do you know he 
wasn't in the coal bin when the coal started sliding down the 
chute? How do you know he isn't buried under the coal at this 

INSPECTOR: I'm ready to believe anything. 
ELLERY: You'd better check, Dad. And call me back. 
INSPECTOR: All right, (He hangs up} 
NIKKI: What's Ellery say, Inspector? 

INSPECTOR: (Groaning) As soon as Velie gets back into the house, 
Nikki we start shoveling coal! 


NIKKI: And for goodness' sake, Inspector, while you're at it, put 
some in that furnace. 

SCENE 8: The Same, Later 
INSPECTOR: Well, Velie? 

NIKKI: (Giggling) Sergeant, you look like an end man in a 
minstrel show. 

VELIE: Shovel coal! Keep the furnace going! What else do you gotta 
do on this job? Look at me! My wife'll have a fit. 

INSPECTOR: Never mind your wife. Did you transfer all that coal 
to the other bin? 

VELIE: Yeah! (Cunningly) And guess what we found under that 
coal, Inspector. 

INSPECTOR: (Biting eagerly) What, Velie? 

VELIE: (Bellowing) Coal dust! (The telephone rings) 

NIKKI: I'll get it. Hello? Just a minute, Ellery! Inspector, it's Ellery 
and he's all agog. 

INSPECTOR: (Taking the telephone) Hello, son. 
ELLERY: Dad! Was Little Jim under the coal? 
INSPECTOR: He was not! Any more bright ideas, Mr. Queen? 

ELLERY: Mmm. Well, the coal was a long shot. But we had to 
eliminate it. Dad, I know where James Phillimore is! 

INSPECTOR: (Belligerently) Where? 

ELLERY: In the only place left for him to hide. 

INSPECTOR: I'm still listening. 

ELLERY: You said Phillimore's study is off the foyer. You listed all 
the study furniture. But Dad, you left out one thing. 

INSPECTOR: You're lying there in bed halfway across town and you're 
telling me I left out something ? What ? 

ELLERY : A study usually has a desk. You didn't mention one. 
INSPECTOR: I didn't? Well, it's a fact there is a desk here ... By 


thunder, Ellery, you're right! And it's one of those old-fashioned 
rolltop desks at that! Hold on. Velie! Ellery's solved it. 

NIKKI : He has, Inspector ? 
VELIE: Where's he say Little Jim's hidin'? 
INSPECTOR: In that rolltop desk, Velie. Search it! 
VELIE: Say, we did miss that before. (Grim) Phillimore, come outa 
there. (He slides the top open} Huh? 

NIKKI: It's empty. 

INSPECTOR: Solved it! (He bar^s into the telephone) Ellery! You were 
wrong, my son. The desk is empty . . . 

ELLERY: But it can't be (The front doorbell rings) 

INSPECTOR: Hang on a minute, Ellery. Velie, answer the front door- 

BIGGS : (Appearing) But I'll answer it, sir. 

INSPECTOR: Biggs, you'll stay where you are! Velie, who is it? 

VELIE: (Off) Telegraph boy, Inspector, with a wire for Biggs. 

BIGGS: (Eagerly) I'll take that, sir 

INSPECTOR: You will not. Don't move. Velie, grab that wire. 

ELLERY: (Through the telephone) Dad, who's that wire from? 

INSPECTOR: Wait, this phone has a long cord I'll take it out into 
the foyer. Hold on, son. Nikki, take the phone. Velie, give me 
that wire. 

VELIE: Here you are, Inspector. Biggs, stand still. 

BIGGS: But it's my wire, sir. 

NIKKI: (Into telephone) The Inspector's opening the telegram, El- 

ELLERY: For pity's sake, what's it say, Nikki? 

INSPECTOR: (Spluttering) But but it can't be! It's impossible! 

MESSENGER: Can I please have a pass or somethin' to get outa here? 
The guy at the gate says I gotta have a pass. I got other telegrams to 
deliver, you know. 


INSPECTOR: Here, Velie. Give him this pass. 

VELIE: Now scram, squirt. (The MESSENGER exits, front door closes) 
What's the wire say, Inspector? 

INSPECTOR: Nikki, hand me that phone. Ellery, listen to this! I can't 
believe it 

ELLERY: (Shouting) Can't believe what 

INSPECTOR: It's from James Phillimore! Yes! It's addressed to his man, 


BIGGS: (Snarling) Out of my way! 

INSPECTOR: Velie, grab that man. Don't let Biggs get away. 

VELIE: Oh, no, you don't, flunkey (He grabs BIGGS and they 

NIKKI: Sergeant look out 

VELIE: Oh, yeah? (He tries vainly to get BIGGS down on the floor) 

ELLERY: Dad, for heaven's sake, what's going on there? 

INSPECTOR: Biggs tried to beat it. Velie's wrestling with him trying 
to get him down on the floor, but he can't. (Sarcastically) What's 
the matter, Velie didn't you have your vitamins today ? 

VELIE: (Panting) I can't get this guy of? his feet. O.K., brother, 
I'll cut you down to size! (He punches BIGGS on the jaw. BIGGS 
crashes to the floor) 

NIKKI: What a fall was there, my countrymen. 

INSPECTOR: Velie's got Biggs, son. But how did Little Jim get out 
of the house? I'll swear nobody left here! 

ELLERY: Yes . . . (Chuckles) . . . Yes, of course! 
INSPECTOR: Yes of course what, Ellery? 
ELLERY: Of course I know where Little Jim is! 

INSPECTOR: Is that so? You thought you knew once before, Ellery, 
and you were wrong! 


ELLERY: Dad, this time I'm positive. I've solved the problem of James 
Phillimore-the man who stepped back into his own house to 
get his umbrella and was never more seen in this world! 


SCENE 9: The Same, Immediately After 

INSPECTOR: You've solved it, son? But what where - how ? 

ELLERY: Never mind now, Dad. Did you ask the telegraph mes- 
senger the obvious question? 

INSPECTOR: Did I What obvious question? 

ELLERY : Oh, lord. Dad, maybe it's still not too late. Where's the boy 

INSPECTOR: He just left. Wait a minute -I still see him through the 
foyer window. Piggott's examining the pass I just gave him, at 
the front gate. 

ELLERY: Good. Hold the boy, Dad, and bring him to me here. I'll 
ask him that question myself! 

SCENE 10: The Queen Apartment, Later 
(They are grouped around ELLERY'S bed.) 
VELIE: O.K., so we've got the messenger boy outside your bedroom, 

Maestro. Now what? 

ELLERY: Fine, Sergeant. Keep the boy there for a moment. 
INSPECTOR: What I want to know, son, is where's James Phil- 

limore ? 
NIKKI: Yes, Ellery-how did he get out of the house. with a dozen 

detectives watching every possible exit? 
ELLERY: Elementary, Nikki. Dad, just answer my questions. Is 

Little Jim in that house now? 
INSPECTOR: No, son. I'll stake my shield on that. 
ELLERY: If he isn't in the house, then he must be outside the house. 



NIKKI: Naturally. 

ELLERY : How many people left the house during the day, Dad ? 
Not including yourselves or the detectives. 

INSPECTOR: I told you a dozen times, Ellery: Nobody left that house. 
ELLERY: Oh, but that's not so, Dad. Three people left it. 
VELIE: Three? Inspector, he's delirious. 

ELLERY: Come, come, didn't the coal men come to the house and 
then leave it ? That makes two 

INSPECTOR: But they never stepped into the house, Ellery! 

VELIE: And I was with 'em every second while they sent the coal 
down the chute from outside the house, Maestro. I even examined 
the truck before they left. 

INSPECTOR: So Little Jim wasn't in the truck, and he wasn't one of 
the coal men, Ellery. 

ELLERY : Oh, you're quite right about that. So that eliminates two of 
the three persons who left the house. Therefore, the third person 
must be Little Jim. 

NIKKI: (Excited} I've got it! Ellery, you're wrong! Little Jim never 
left the house at all, Inspector! 

INSPECTOR: But Nikki, we searched it from top to bottom. If he was 
in the house all the time, where was he? 

NIKKI: He was in front of your eyes, Inspector. Little Jim was . . . 
Biggs, the servant! 

VELIE : He played two parts ? Say . . . 

INSPECTOR: Phillimore is five foot one, Nikki. Biggs is six foot four! 

NIKKI : (Airily} He faked the extra height, Inspector. Used stilts, or 

ELLERY: Stilts? No, Nikki. Velie actually wrestled with Biggs and 
couldn't even get him off his feet! If Biggs were on stilts, no matter 
how strong he was, you could have pushed him over, Nikki. No 
call in that telegraph boy, Sergeant, and I'll ask him the obvious 
question Dad forgot. (VELIE brings in the MESSENGER) 

INSPECTOR: (Exasperated} What obvious question, for Pete's sake? 
VELIE: Here's the boy, Maestro. 
MESSENGER: (Fearfully} What what do you want, mister? 

ELLERY: I want to ask you a question, sonny. (Chuckles} Here it is: 
you're James Phillimore, aren't you? (There. is a moment of com- 
plete silence} 

INSPECTOR: (Spluttering) He's Little Jim, Ellery? This boy? 

ELLERY: What makes him a boy, Dad? His small size. His clean- 
shaven cheeks. His messenger's uniform. His high-pitched voice. 
No, no, he's not a boy he's a man. James Phillimore, in fact. 
He must be. He's the only other person who left the house. 

MESSENGER: (Backing away} Think you're clever, don't you? 
VELIE: Stand still! 
INSPECTOR: (Softly} I get it. 

NIKKI : But Ellery, how did he leave the house in the first place in 
order to come bac\ as the messenger? 

ELLERY : He didn't leave at all, Nikki. 

INSPECTOR: Now I see it! He prepared his escape in advance. He had 
this telegraph messenger's uniform ready. And a telegram, which 
he'd sent to himself some time ago. All he had to do today was 
change the date and reseal the envelope. 

ELLERY: Yes, Dad, and when he spotted you this morning waiting 
for him outside the house, he quickly went back in, shaved off 
his beard, put on the uniform, told Biggs to play stupid, and then 
hid in the only place you did not search 

INSPECTOR: The rolltop desk! 

ELLERY : Precisely. Just before I phoned about the desk, he saw that 
the coast was clear nobody was in the study or foyer. So he 
jumped out of the desk, ran to the front door, opened it, went out 
and stood in the portico 

VELIE: Then why didn't Piggott at the front gate see him, Ellery? 

ELLERY : He couldn't, Sergeant. Remember when you and Dad first 


saw Little Jim re-enter the house this morning, Dad said you'd 
"lost" him couldn't see him in the portico until you got closer 
to the front door ? ... So then Phillimore rang the bell, delivered 
his "telegram," and calmly asked for a pass to get him off the 

VELIE: Makin' diis little devil sneakier dian a Jap. Come along 
quietly, Phillimore, or I'll break you in little pieces. (INSPECTOR 

NIKKI: That was a mighty clever plot, Ellery. 

ELLERY : Wasn't it ? I especially call to your attention, my dear Nikki, 
the brilliant wording of Little Jim's spurious telegram. It convinced 
Inspector Queen that this daring criminal had escaped, when all 
the time he was in die house waiting for a pass from the Inspector 
himself to get him out! 

Detective: SHERLOCK HOLMES Narrator: WATSON 



Stuart Palmer, creator of Hildegarde Withers, one of sleuth- 
dom's most beloved detectivettes, is at the time of this writing 
Lieutenant Stuart Palmer of the United States Army. Good 
luck^, Stu, and best wishes from millions of fans! 

Lieutenant Palmer wrote this pastiche just before entering 
the service of his country. He wrote it especially for this boo\ 
for which your Editors will be eternally grateful and for 
which every reader will heartily sing out his fervent thanks. 
The "misadventure" stems from one of Dr. Watson's many 
provocative and teasing remarks this one to be found in 
"The Problem of Thor Bridge' l wherein Watson referred 
to "a third case worthy of note . . . that of Isadora Persano, 
the well-known journalist and duellist, who was found star\ 
staring mad with a matchbox in front of him which contained 
a remarkable worm, said to be unknown to science" 

Lieutenant Palmer's pastiche, so cleverly, so ingeniously con- 
trived, reflects a lifetime adoration of The Great Man and 
in an even greater degree, an underdog sympathy for The 
Great Man's Boswell, whose detectival prowess has until now 
been most sadly neglected. But read for yourself this utterly 
delightful and satisfying "misadventure" 

Another pastiche of Sherlock^ Holmes by Lieutenant Palmer 
is scheduled to appear in the July 1944 issue of "Ellery Queen's 
Mystery Magazine" It is titled "The Adventure of the Marked 

THE CASE-BOOK OF SHERLOCK HOLMES; London, Murray, 1927; New York, Doran, 



HERLOCK HOLMES turned abruptly away from the bay window, 
against which all day a raw April wind had been driving rain. The 
spring of '93 will be remembered as unusually inclement, even for 
London, and as always the dreariness of the weather conspired with 
professional inactivity to force Holmes farther and farther into the 
depths of black depression. 

I was therefore not surprised to see him cross to the mantelpiece 
in three quick strides, obviously in search of the needle I abhorred. 
"Holmes, I beg of you!" cried I, half rising from my easy chair. 
Ordinarily I should not have ventured to remonstrate with my 
friend, but all day the Jezail bullet in my shoulder 2 had been sending 
excruciating pains down my right side as far as the knee, and I was 
not in the most tolerant of moods. 

Holmes stopped short and turned toward me, the morocco case 
in his hand. "My dear Watson," he said, "can you suggest anything 
better than a 7 per cent solution of cocaine?" 

1 turned toward the table, decanted three fingers of good Irish 
whisky into a tall glass and then filled it to the brim with sparkling 
water from the gasogene. 3 "If you will not listen to me as a medical 
man, then give heed to an old comrade in arms. Try this, I beg of 
you. It is a far milder poison." 

Languidly Holmes accepted the glass, raised it to his lips, and 
then put it aside with a wry smile and a shake of his head. "Revolting, 
Watson, most revolting." 

More than a little nettled, I replied, "But my dear fellow! As a 
man who makes a point of keeping good Burley tobacco in a Persian 
slipper, and who toasts two-and-six Trichinopoly cigars in a coal 
scuttle before the fire, your sense of taste cannot be so terribly af- 
fronted by a whisky-and-soda." 

Holmes bowed mockingly. "Touche, Watson. I must confess that 
in the process of developing my faculties to their highest point it is 
possible my sense of taste has atrophied. Tobacco in its moist 4 normal 
state repels me. So, by the way, does this atrocious mixture of fer- 

2 Connoisseurs: Please note. 

3 Connoisseurs: Please note. 

4 Connoisseurs: Please note. 


mented potato juice and carbon-dioxide gas. Granted for the moment 
that you are correct in arguing that the final results are less deleterious 
to the system than the habitual use of cocaine, still I have always 
found the latter drug a specific in exalting and stimulating the mental 


Here he stopped, cocking his head toward the door. "As exalting, 
shall we say, as the sudden appearance of a new problem?" 

There was another quick step in the passage, and then a nervous 
hammering upon our door. Holmes paused only to adjust the shade 
of the reading lamp so that it fell upon the vacant chair in which our 
visitor must sit, and then crossed to the door and flung it open. 

The man who staggered into our sitting room was perhaps of 
some eight and thirty years, though his cadaverous aspect made him 
appear superficially older. His apparel spoke of Savile Row, though 
it hung loosely upon his gaunt frame like the dress of a neat scare- 
crow. He looked about him anxiously, turning from Holmes to me 
and back again. I could not help noticing that there were deep gentian 
circles beneath his faintly bulging eyes, and that the man was ob- 
viously in the grip of a powerful emotion. 

"Mr. Holmes?" he gasped. 

"Please sit down," said Holmes, indicating the visitor's chair. "I 
am he. And this is Dr. Watson, my friend and colleague. If I may 
say so, it would appear that you are far more in need of his profes- 
sional services than of my own." 

"I must be the judge of that," retorted our caller sharply. He sank 
wearily into the chair, grasping the arms with bloodless trembling 
hands. "I will begin at the beginning," said he. "My name is Persano." 
He hesitated, took a deep breath, and went on. "Isadora Persano." 

Holmes nodded. "Indeed? Can it be that you are the journalist 
over whose signature have recently appeared a number of contro- 
versial articles? In the Sketch, I believe." 

Persano bowed, brightening a little. "I had no idea, Mr. Holmes, 
that my poor efforts had come to the attention of such a celebrated 
person as yourself. It is true that I have published a few diatribes 
dealing with widely held popular superstitions . . ." 

"Incidentally sinking home a few good thrusts at the medical 
profession, I believe?" Holmes nodded toward me, a flicker of amuse- 


ment in his eye. "The good doctor here has not read them, so we 
may all still speak as friends. And now, Mr. Persano, having had a 
recent opportunity to study organized medicine at first hand in one 
of our London hospitals, you wish to consult me " 

"But this is black magic, sir!" interrupted the journalist. 

"Not in the least. The faint but definite odor of iodoform and 
ether which clings to your person, plus an obviously recent loss of 
weight, plus the fact that you are wearing a hospital nightgown in 
place of a shirt, can only indicate the conclusion I mentioned." 

A flickering smile crossed Persano's face. "Oh, I see. For a moment 
you gave me a start. But now that you explain I see how simple it 
all is." 

Holmes nodded wearily. "As usual, I have made a mistake in dis- 
closing the steps by which I arrive at my deductions. But let us 
get on, Mr. Persano. You wish to consult me about the object which 
bulges in your right-hand coat pocket?" 

Isadora Persano fumbled nervously, and then thrust out at us a 
small glass flask, well stoppered. Even as he held it forth he kept his 
eyes averted, as if the very sight of the thing in the bottle were to be 
avoided as the glance of Medusa. 

"Mr. Holmes, you must help me! I must find out the truth or 
lose my reason forever. Only a day or so ago I have somehow lost 
track of time I was the happiest man in the realm. Today " 
and here he shuddered, a full perspiration breaking out on his pale 
brow "today I am the most miserable. This this Thing that I 
hold in my hand is the reason." 

Holmes accepted the flask and held it to the light, so that we both 
saw clearly its contents. Floating in a clear viscous liquid was an 
object both strange and repellent, a slender, wormlike creature no 
more than six inches in length, with an eyeless, swollen head. 

I must have given vent to an involuntary exclamation, for Holmes 
turned to me and nodded. "Exactly, Watson! You were about to say 
that we are looking upon a representative of the phylla group 
possibly one of the Platyhdminthes, but most certainly of a venomous 
breed hitherto unknown to science." He turned back to our visitor. 
"Mr. Persano, how did you come by this thing?" 

"In all my life," cried Persano wildly, "I have never intentionally 


caused harm to any living being. I have avoided Error and pursued 
Truth as my guiding star. Why, then, should anyone send me this 
object of horror incarnate?" 

Holmes turned the flask, so that the motion induced in the sup- 
porting liquid caused a faint serpentine movement of the creature 
inside. "You have an enemy, no doubt?" 

"Yes, and no, Mr. Holmes," the man replied. "All Harley Street 
has been my enemy since I published those articles. I was even chal- 
lenged to a duel last week. But I cannot believe that any civilized 
human being could take so foul a revenge as this. Imagine it, Mr. 
Holmes! One moment I was walking along Oxford Street, my mind 
filled with happy, constructive thoughts, concentrating upon Health 
and Truth. Then I can hardly believe it even now a blackness 
descended upon me. I have vague formless memories of lying there 
on the pavement, with the avid faces of a curious crowd staring 
down at me. And then nothing!" 

"Nothing at all?" pressed Holmes. 

The man shook his head. "Nothing until I awakened. In the charity 
ward of Charing Cross Hospital I found myself, weak and hungry 
and filled with the illusion of pain. Some poor soul at the other end 
of the room was passing on to his reward, his last struggles occupying 
the attention of the doctors and nurses. I seized the opportunity to 
recover my clothing from the locker at the foot of my bed, and made 
my escape, bringing with me that flask which had been placed on the 
night stand for my waking eyes to light upon." 

"I begin to understand," said Holmes, grimly. I had expected to 
see him impatient at this hysterical, maudlin narrative, but on the 
contrary he had listened with the greatest concentration of attention. 

"You have an enemy? This former dueling antagonist, perhaps?' 

Persano shrugged. "Honor was satisfied when the secretary of the 
College of Surgeons fired over my head, and I over his. No, Mr. 
Holmes, I cannot believe that my persecution arises from such a 

source " 


"Very well," said Holmes. "By the way, when did you separate 

from your wife?" 
Persano started. "Mr. Holmes, this is unfair! You have had prior 

knowledge of me and my affairs." 


"Not in the least. There is very clearly the mark of a wedding ring 
upon the proper finger of your left hand, and one of the buttons on 
your waistcoat has been replaced with thread of a different color, 
plainly indicating a change to a bachelor existence. Please answer 
the question." 

"Marina and I separated last autumn," Persano said. "She returned 
to the practice of her profession, and is, I believe, at the moment 
telling fortunes at the Red Rose teashop in Lambeth. But we had no 
quarrel it was just that she could not, would not, follow me into 
the new fields, the fresh world which opened to me when I finally 
got hold of the Key of the Scriptures." 

I could not but detect a noticeable intensification in Holmes's 
manner. "Never fear, Mr. Persano. I shall do my very best to help 
you. Suppose you leave this unholy object with me for the time 
being? I think I shall have news for you within the fortnight. Your 

"No. 31 Tottenham Mews." 

"Thank you. Will you be kind enough to note the address, Wat- 
son?" Holmes ushered our visitor to the door, then closed it after 
him and turned back toward the fire, his face grave and thoughtful. 
"Quite an unusual little problem," he said. "You will find parallel 
cases, if you care to consult the index, in Malvern in '84, and Ham- 
mersmith as late as year before last. The man himself was most 

"No doubt you read a good deal in his appearance which was 
invisible to me," I remarked, rubbing my lame shoulder tenderly. 

"Invisible? Ah, no, my good Watson. Just unnoticed. The man is 
obviously a recent convert to one of the new sects, such as that which 
recently came to us from Mrs. Eddy in the United States of North 
America. Christian Science, I believe they call it." 

"Science!" I interposed sarcastically. 

"Exactly. However, it was a conversion hardly likely to appeal to 
his wife, with her Romany background. What is more likely than 
that the gypsy girl probed among the deeper, darker secrets of her 
race to secure revenge upon the husband who had cast her aside? I 
seem to remember a similar case in Prague some years ago, when a 
jilted Romany woman secured a most horrible revenge upon a rival 


by feeding her the spores of a new species of mushroom, developed to 
thrive only upon human detritus. Myriads of tiny mushrooms burst 
from the victim's scalp, from beneath the fingernails " 

"Holmes!" I cried, shocked to the marrow. "This is too much!" 

"All the same," said Sherlock Holmes quietly, "I believe that a 
visit to the Red Rose teashop is indicated." 

"I refuse to believe that such things can exist in this civilized 
world!" I insisted. 

Holmes shrugged. He took up the flask again, carefully removed 
the wax stopper, and poured out the liquid into a basin. The odor of 
raw spirits filled the room. He took a pair of forceps and lifted out 
the blind, lifeless worm, laying it on a bit of newspaper. 

"No doubt we should burn this unholy object at once," he said 
thoughtfully. "But I intend first to take it widi me when we journey 
to Lambeth. Will you be good enough to go down to the corner 
and summon a hansom?" 

"In this deluge?" I shook my head, sinking back comfortably into 
the velvet lining of die easy chair. 

"Come, come, Watson! The game is afoot. It is not every day that 
we are confronted with a worm unknown to science." 

I hesitated, savoring my expected triumph. "Forgive me, Holmes. 
If you wish to visit the lady fortune teller, my best wishes go with 
you. But I can see no reason for my accompanying you, nor for taking 
along that repulsive object on the table." 

"Of course you do not see. You never do, until afterwards. But in 

this case . . ." 

"In this case, Holmes, you are well off the target." I smiled, having 
waited for diis moment ever since the day Holmes talked me into 
giving away Fusilier, my bull pup, on the grounds that the poor 
fellow snored. "As a matter of fact, it is perfectly clear that Mr. 
Persano was seized with a sudden intestinal attack while strolling 
down Oxford Street. Removed to Charing Cross Hospital, an emer- 
gency operation was found necessary, and the unhappy little man 
recovered consciousness alone and unattended, with the evidence of 
the operation exhibited beside his bed." 

Holmes surveyed me coldly. "I fail to see what, if anything, you 
are driving at." 

"Only this," I said. "The 'worm unknown to science' is unknown 


only to Christian Science. That unpleasant object before you is noth- 
ing more than an infected vermiform appendix." 

Sherlock Holmes hesitated, swallowed, and then a reluctant smile 
broke across his face. He extended a lean brown hand toward mine. 
"Apologies, Watson! I forgot for a moment that medicine and sur- 
gery are your chosen field, in which I have but dabbled. This is your 
triumph. What disposition do you care to make of the case?" 

"I should suggest returning his appendix to Mr. Isadora Persano, 
together with a note explaining the truth of the situation." 

Holmes nodded. "It shall be done. This matchbox should serve 
as an excellent container. And now, by the way, I think that a good 
dinner at Simpsons would not be out of place. A good dinner for 
you, I should say. For myself I intend to order a double serving of 
humble pie." 



"Perhaps no fiction character ever created has 
become so charmingly real to his readers . . . 
Holmes is pure anesthesia." 


"Heaven forbid that anyone, with a hundred 
happy hours to be grateful for since boyhood, 
should ever undervalue the legend of Sherlock 
Holmes ... the only real legend of our time." 


Detective: SHERLOCK HOLMES Narrator: WATSON 



Here is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's nomination for "the best 
of all the numerous parodies'" of Sherloc^ Holmes. It first ap- 
peared in print as part of Chapter XI, "Sidelights on Sherlocf( 
Holmes" in Doyle's autobiography, MEMORIES AND ADVENTURES 
(London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1924; Boston, Little, Brown, 

We can thinly of no better way of introducing this burlesque 
than to quote Doyle's own prefatory remarks: "Sir James Bar- 
rie paid his respects to Sherloc^ Holmes in a rollicking parody. 
It was really a gay gesture of resignation over the failure which 
we had encountered with a comic opera for which he undertook^ 
to write the libretto. I collaborated with him on this, but in 
spite of our joint efforts, the piece 1 fell flat. Whereupon Barrie 
sent me a parody on Holmes, written on the flyleaves of one of 
his booths." 

As boo\ collectors of the species Fanaticus Americanus, your 
Editors have always read those lines with infinite longing, with 
a surge of uncontrollable cupidity. Our collective heads have 
never failed to reel dizzily at the very thought of that boof^ by 
Barrie, inscribed by the author, with a holograph manuscript 
of "The Adventure of the Two Collaborators' 1 '' penned on the 

What a boo\ to stand on our hungry shelves! What a price 
it would fetch at auction! What a first edition to gloat over, 
caress, boast about! We \now at least six persons who would 

1 JANE ANNIE, or THE GOOD CONDUCT PRIZE (music by Ernest Ford, book by J. M. 
Barrie and Conan Doyle) opened at the Savoy Theatre in London on May 13, 1893; 
although kept going for seven weeks, it was considered one of D'Oyly Carte's worst 



cheerfully commit anything up to and including murder to gain 
possession of that unique volume. But alas . . . here is truly 
"such stuff as dreams are made on . . ." 


_N BRINGING to a close the adventures of my friend Sherlock Holmes 
I am perforce reminded that he never, save on the occasion whkh, 
as you will now hear, brought his singular career to an end, consented 
to act in any mystery which was concerned with persons who made 
a livelihood by their pen. "I am not particular about the people I 
mix among for business purposes," he would say, "but at literary 
characters I draw the line." 

We were in our rooms in Baker Street one evening. I was (I re- 
member) by the centre table writing out The Adventure of the Man 
without a Cor^ Leg (which had so puzzled the Royal Society and 
all the other scientific bodies of Europe), and Holmes was amusing 
himself with a little revolver practice. It was his custom of a summer 
evening to fire round my head, just shaving my face, until he had 
made a photograph of me on the opposite wall, and it is a slight 
proof of his skill that many of these portraits in pistol shots are 
considered admirable likenesses. 

I happened to look out of the window, and perceiving two gentle- 
men advancing rapidly along Baker Street asked him who they were. 
He immediately lit his pipe, and, twisting himself on a chair into 
the figure 8, replied: 

"They are two collaborators in comic opera, and their play has 

not been a triumph." 
I sprang from my chair to the ceiling in amazement, and he then 


"My dear Watson, they are obviously men who follow some low 
calling. That much even you should be able to read in their faces. 
Those little pieces of blue paper which they fling angrily from them 
are Durrani's Press Notices. Of these they have obviously hundreds 
about their person (see how their pockets bulge). They would not 
dance on them if they were pleasant reading." 

I again sprang to the ceiling (which is much dented), and shouted: 
"Amazing! But they may be mere authors." 


"No," said Holmes, "for mere authors only get one press notice 
a week. Only criminals, dramatists and actors get them by the hun- 

"Then they may be actors." 

"No, actors would come in a carriage." 

"Can you tell me anything else about them?" 

"A great deal. From the mud on the boots of the tall one I per- 
ceive that he comes from South Norwood. The other is as obviously 
a Scotch author." 

"How can you tell that?" 

"He is carrying in his pocket a book called (I clearly see) Auld 
Licht Something. Would anyone but the author be likely to carry 
about a book with such a title?" 

I had to confess that this was improbable. 

It was now evident that the two men (if such they can be called) 
were seeking our, lodgings. I have said (often) that my friend Holmes 
seldom gave way to emotion of any kind, but he now turned livid 
with passion. Presently this gave place to a strange look of tri- 

"Watson," he said, "that big fellow has for years taken the credit 
for my most remarkable doings, but at last I have him at last!" 

Up I went to the ceiling, and when I returned the strangers were 
in the room. 

"I perceive, gentlemen," said Mr. Sherlock Holmes, "that you are 
at present afflicted by an extraordinary novelty." 

The handsomer of our visitors asked in amazement how he knew 
this, but the big one only scowled. 

"You forget that you wear a ring on your fourth finger," replied 
Mr. Holmes calmly. 

I was about to jump to the ceiling when the big brute interposed. 

"That tommy-rot is all very well for the public, Holmes," said he, 
"but you can drop it before me. And, Watson, if you go up to the 
ceiling again I shall make you stay there." 

Here I observed a curious phenomenon. My friend Sherlock 
Holmes shranf(. He became small before my eyes. I looked longingly 
at the ceiling, but dared not. 

"Let us cut the first four pages," said the big man, "and proceed 
to business. I want to know why " 


"Allow me," said Mr. Holmes, with some of his old courage. "You 
want to know why the public does not go to your opera." 

"Exactly," said the other ironically, "as you perceive by my shirt 
stud." He added more gravely, "And as you can only find out in 
one way I must insist on your witnessing an entire performance of 
the piece." 

It was an anxious moment for me. I shuddered, for I knew that if 
Holmes went I should have to go with him. But my friend had a 
heart of gold. 

"Never," he cried fiercely, "I will do anything for you save that." 

"Your continued existence depends on it," said the big man menac- 

"I would rather melt into air," replied Holmes, proudly taking 
another chair. "But I can tell you why the public don't go to your 
piece without sitting the thing out myself." 


"Because," replied Holmes calmly, "they prefer to stay away." 

A dead silence followed that extraordinary remark. For a moment 
the two intruders gazed with awe upon the man who had unravelled 
their mystery so wonderfully. Then drawing their knives 

Holmes grew less and less, until nothing was left save a ring of 
smoke which slowly circled to the ceiling. 

The last words of great men are often noteworthy. These were the 
last words of Sherlock Holmes: "Fool, fool! I have kept you in 
luxury for years. By my help you have ridden extensively in cabs, 
where no author was ever seen before. Henceforth you mil ride in 

The brute sunk into a chair aghast. 

The other author did not turn a hair. 

To A. Conan Doyle, 

from his friend 
J. M. Barrie 




It's amazing how often stories by Mar\ Twain, despite his 
Brobdingnagian reputation as a humorist, have been ta^en seri- 
ously. Mar\ Twain was responsible for some of the funniest 
literary hoaxes ever foisted on an unsuspecting public. 

Consider his story of the Petrified Man of Gravelly Ford. 
In the original journalistic squib he started out by describing 
the scene in "patient belief-compelling detail" the impressive 
solitude, the majesty of the figure, and so on. Quite casually he 
mentioned that the thumb of the Petrified Man's right hand 
rested "against the side of his nose" Then after more serious 
description, he observed that "the fingers of the right hand were 
spread apart." More dignified exposition, then the incidental 
remart^ that "the thumb of the left hand was hooked into the 
little finger of the right." Still more rambling about something 
else and by and by MarJ^ Twain drifted bacJ^ and commented 
that "the fingers of the left hand were spread out lit(e those of 
the right." 

It was so cleverly written that the great majority of readers 
completely missed the point (no pun intended); in fact, many 
people believed the hoax with such credulity that they actually 
looked for the Petrified Man in the region where Mart^ Twain, 
as a Nevada newspaper editor, claimed to have located it. Even- 
tually it was "exalted to the grand chief place in the list of 
genuine marvels Nevada had produced" 

In the same way Mar\ Twain's "A Double -Ear relied Detec- 
tive Story" has been judged from much too serious a critical 
viewpoint. The simple truth is that this story was intended as 
an elaborate burlesque of detective fiction that and no more. 
Of course some of the melodramatic passages are written so 


dead-pan that it is difficult for the naive to detect the deception 
a jo\e that always tickled Mar/^ Twain hugely. 

But now that you have been tipped off, you will enjoy with 
even greater relish such scenes as Sherloc^ Holmes being 
watched in the process of thinking the special Sherlocfyan 
private brand of thinking, of course. Mar\ Twain's treatment 
is admittedly broad but all the funnier when you realize 
that this is "gorjus" tongue-in-cheet^ tomfoolery. 

SherlocJ^ Holmes, affectionately called the "Extraordinary 
Man," makes his appearance in this slightly condensed version 
of "A Double-Barrelled Detective Story" just before the halfway 
mar\. His true role in the murder investigation and in the 
events leading up to the tragedy is to say the least ex- 


IE FIRST scene is in the country, in Virginia; the time, 1880. 
There has been a wedding, between a handsome young man of 
slender means and a rich young girl a case of love at first sight 
and a precipitate marriage; a marriage bitterly opposed by the girl's 
widowed father. 

Jacob Fuller, the bridegroom, is twenty-six years old, is of an old 
but unconsidered family which had by compulsion emigrated from 
Sedgemoor, and for King James's purse's profit, so everybody said 
some maliciously, the rest merely because they believed it. The 
bride is nineteen and beautiful. She is intense, high-strung, romantic, 
immeasurably proud of her Cavalier blood, and passionate in her 
love for her young husband. For its sake she braved her father's dis- 
pleasure, endured his reproaches, listened with loyalty unshaken to 
his warning predictions, and went from his house without his bless- 
ing, proud and happy in the proofs she was thus giving of the quality 
of the affection which had made its home in her heart. 

The morning after the marriage there was a sad surprise for her. 
Her husband put aside her proffered caresses, and said: 

"Sit down. I have something to say to you. I loved you. That was 


before I asked your father to give you to me. His refusal is not my 
grievance I could have endured that. But the things he said of me 
to you that is a different matter. There you needn't speak; I 
know quite well what they were; I got them from authentic sources. 
Among other things he said that my character was written in my 
face; that I was treacherous, a dissembler, a coward, and a brute 
without sense of pity or compassion: the 'Sedgemoor trade-mark,' 
he called it and 'white-sleeve badge.' Any other man in my place 
would have gone to his house and shot him down like a dog. I wanted 
to do it, and was minded to do it, but a better thought came to me : 
to put him to shame; to break his heart; to kill him by inches. How 
to do it? Through my treatment of you, his idol! I would marry you; 
and then Have patience. You will see." 

From that moment onward, for three months, the young wife 
suffered all the humiliations, all the insults, all the miseries that the 
diligent and inventive mind of the husband could contrive, save 
physical injuries only. Her strong pride stood by her, and she kept 
the secret of her troubles. Now and then the husband said, "Why 
don't you go to your father and tell him?" Then he invented new 
tortures, applied them, and asked again. She always answered, "He 
shall never know by my mouth," and taunted him with his origin; 
said she was the lawful slave of a scion of slaves, and must obey, 
and would up to that point, but no further; he could kill her if 
he liked, but he could not break her; it was not in the Sedgemoor 
breed to do it. At the end of the three months he said, with a dark 
significance in his manner, "I have tried all things but one" and 
waited for her reply. "Try that," she said, and curled her lip in 

That night he rose at midnight and put on his clothes, then said 
to her: 

"Get up and dress!" 

She obeyed as always, without a word. He led her half a mile 
from the house, and proceeded to lash her to a tree by the side of 
the public road; and succeeded, she screaming and struggling. He 
gagged her then, struck her across the face with his cowhide, and 
set his bloodhounds on her. They tore the clothes off her, and she 
was naked. He called the dogs off, and said: 


"You will be found by the passing public. They will be dropping 
along about three hours from now, and will spread the news do 
you hear ? Good-by. You have seen die last of me." 
He went away then. She moaned to herself: 
"I shall bear a child to him! God grant it may be a boy!" 
The farmers released her by and by and spread the news, which 
was natural. They raised the country with lynching intentions, but 
the bird had flown. The young wife shut herself up in her father's 
house; he shut himself up with her, and thenceforth would see no 
one. His pride was broken, and his heart; so he wasted away, day 
by day, and even his daughter rejoiced when death relieved him. 
Then she sold the estate and disappeared. 


In 1886 a young woman was living in a modest house near a se- 
cluded New England village, with no company but a little boy about 
five years old. She did her own work, she discouraged acquaintance- 
ships, and had none. The butcher, the baker, and die others who 
served her could tell the villagers nothing about her further than 
that her name was Stillman, and that she called the child Archy. 
Whence she came they had not been able to find out, but they said 
she talked like a Southerner. The child had no playmates and no 
comrade, and no teacher but the mother. She taught him diligently 
and intelligently, and was satisfied with the results even a little 
proud of them. One day Archy said: 

"Mamma, am I different from other children?" 

"Well, I suppose not. Why?" 

"There was a child going along out there and asked me if the 
postman had been by and I said yes, and she said how long since 
I saw him and I said I hadn't seen him at all, and she said how did 
I know he'd been by, then, and I said because I smelt his track on 
the sidewalk, and she said I was a dum fool and made a mouth at 
me. What did she do that for?" 

The young woman turned white, and said to herself, "It's a birth- 
mark! The gift of the bloodhound is in him." She snatched the boy 
to her breast and hugged him passionately, saying, "God has ap- 
pointed the way!" Her eyes were burning with a fierce light, and 
her breath came short and quick with excitement. She said to her- 


self: "The puzzle is solved now; many a time it has been a mystery 
to me, the impossible things the child has done in the dark, but it 
is all clear to me now." 

She set him in his small chair, and said: 

"Wait a little till I come, dear; then we will talk about the matter." 

She went up to her room and took from her dressing table several 
small articles and put them out of sight: a nail file on the floor 
under the bed; a pair of nail scissors under the bureau; a small ivory 
paper knife under the wardrobe. Then she returned, and said: 

"There! I have left some things which I ought to have brought 
down." She named them, and said, "Run up and bring them, dear." 

The child hurried away on his errand and was soon back again 
with the things. 

"Did you have any difficulty, dear?" 

"No, Mamma; I only went where you went." 

During his absence she had stepped to the bookcase, taken several 
books from the bottom shelf, opened each, passed her hand over a 
page, noting its number in her memory, then restored them to their 
places. Now she said: 

"I have been doing something while you have been gone, Archy. 
Do you think you can find out what it was?" 

The boy went to the bookcase and got out the books that had 
been touched, and opened them at the pages which had been stroked. 

The mother took him in her lap, and said : 

"I will answer your question now, dear. I have found out that in 
one way you are quite different from other people. You can see in 
the dark, you can smell what other people cannot, you have the 
talents of a bloodhound. They are good and valuable things to have, 
but you must keep the matter a secret. If people found it out, they 
would speak of you as an odd child, a strange child, and children 
would be disagreeable to you, and give you nicknames. In this world 
one must be like everybody else if he doesn't want to provoke scorn 
or envy or jealousy. It is a great and fine distinction which has been 
born to you, and I am glad; but you will keep it a secret, for Mamma's 
sake, won't you?" 

The child promised, without understanding. 
All the rest of the day the mother's brain was busy with excited 
thinkings; with plans, projects, schemes, each and all of them un- 


canny, grim, and dark. Yet they lit up her face; lit it with a fell light 
of their own; lit it with vague fires of hell. She was in a fever of un- 
rest; she could not sit, stand, read, sew; there was no relief for her 
but in movement. She tested her boy's gift in twenty ways, and kept 
saying to herself all the time, with her mind in the past: "He broke 
my father's heart, and night and day all these years I have tried, 
and all in vain, to think out a way to break his. I have found it now 
I have found it now." 

When night fell, the demon of unrest still possessed her. She went 
on with her tests; with a candle she traversed the house from garret 
to cellar, hiding pins, needles, thimbles, spools, under pillows, under 
carpets, in cracks in the walls, under the coal in the bin; then sent 
the little fellow in the dark to find them; which he did, and was 
happy and proud when she praised him and smothered him with 

From this time forward life took on a new complexion for her. 
She said, "The future is secure I can wait, and enjoy the waiting." 
The most of her lost interests revived. She took up music again, and 
languages, drawing, painting, and the other long-discarded delights 
of her maidenhood. She was happy once more, and felt again the 
zest of life. As the years drifted by she watched the development of 
her boy, and was contented with it. Not altogether, but nearly that. 
The soft side of his heart was larger than the other side of it. It was 
his only defect, in her eyes. But she considered that his love for her 
and worship of her made up for it. He was a good hater that 
was well; but it was a question if the materials of his hatreds were 
of as tough and enduring a quality as those of his friendships and 
that was not so well. 

The years drifted on. Archy was become a handsome, shapely, 
athletic youth, courteous, dignified, companionable, pleasant in his 
ways, and looking perhaps a trifle older than he was, which was six- 
teen. One evening his mother said she had something of grave im- 
portance to say to him, adding that he was old enough to hear it 
now, and old enough and possessed of character enough and stability 
enough to carry out a stern plan which she had been for years con- 
triving and maturing. Then she told him her bitter story, in all its 
naked atrociousness. For a while the boy was paralyzed; then he 


"I understand. We are Southerners; and by our custom and nature 
here is but one atonement. I will search him out and kill him." 

"Kill him? No! Death is release, emancipation; death is a favor. 
Do I owe him favors? You must not hurt a hair of his head." 

The boy was lost in thought awhile; then he said: 

"You are all the world to me, and your desire is my law and my 
Dleasure. Tell me what to do and I will do it." 

The mother's eyes beamed with satisfaction, and she said: 

"You will go and find him. I have known his hiding place for 
eleven years; it cost me five years and more of inquiry, and much 
noney, to locate it. He is a quartz miner in Colorado, and well-to-do. 
He lives in Denver. His name is Jacob Fuller. There it is the 
irst time I have spoken it since that unforgettable night. Think! 
That name could have been yours if I had not saved you that shame 
md furnished you a cleaner one. You will drive him from that place; 
you will hunt him down and drive him again; and yet again, and 
again, and again, persistently, relentlessly, poisoning his life, filling 
it with mysterious terrors, loading it with weariness and misery, 
making him wish for death, and that he had a suicide's courage; 
you will make of him another Wandering Jew; he shall know no 
rest any more, no peace of mind, no placid sleep; you shall shadow 
him, cling to him, persecute him, till you break his heart, as he broke 
my father's and mine." 

"I will obey, Mother." 

"I believe it, my child. The preparations are all made; everything 
is ready. Here is a letter of credit; spend freely, there is no lack of 
money. At times you may need disguises. I have provided them; 
also some other conveniences." She took from the drawer of the 
typewriter table several squares of paper. They all bore these type- 
written words: 

$10,000 REWARD 

It is believed that a certain man who is wanted in an eastern state 
is sojourning here. In 1880, in the night, he tied his young wife to 
a tree by the public road, cut her across the face with a cowhide, and 
made his dogs tear her clothes from her, leaving her naked. He 
left her there, and fled the country. A blood relative of hers has 

searched for him for seventeen years. Address , > 

Post office. The above reward will be paid in cash to the person who 


will furnish the seeker, in a personal interview, the criminal's ad- 

"When you have found him and acquainted yourself with his 
scent, you will go in the night and placard one of these upon the 
building he occupies, and another one upon the post office or in some 
other prominent place. It will be the talk of the region. At first you 
must give him several days in which to force a sale of his belongings 
at something approaching their value. We will ruin him by and by, 
but gradually; we must not impoverish him at once, for that could 
bring him to despair and injure his health, possibly kill him." 

She took three or four more typewritten forms from the drawer 
duplicates and read one: 

, , 18 . 

To Jacob Fuller: 

You have days in which to settle your affairs. You will not 

be disturbed during that limit, which will expire at M., on 

the of You must then MOVE ON. If you are still in 

the place after the named hour, I will placard you on all the dead 
walls, detailing your crime once more, and adding the date, also the 
scene of it, with all names concerned, including your own. Have no 
fear of bodily injury it will in no circumstances ever be inflicted 
upon you. You brought misery upon an old man, and ruined his life 
and broke his heart. What he suffered, you are to suffer. 

"You will add no signature. He must receive this before he learns 
of the reward placard before he rises in the morning lest he 
lose his head and fly the place penniless." 

"I shall not forget." 

"You will need to use these forms only in the beginning once 
may be enough. Afterward, when you are ready for him to vanish 
out of a place, see that he gets a copy of this form, which merely 

MOVE ON. You have . . days. 

"He will obey. That is sure." 

Extracts from letters to the mother : 


DENVER, April 3, 1897 

I have now been living several days in the same hotel with Jacob 
Fuller. I have his scent; I could track him through ten divisions of 
infantry and find him. I have often been near him and heard him 
talk. He owns a good mine, and has a fair income from it; but he is 
not rich. He learned mining in a good way by working at it for 
wages. He is a cheerful creature, and his forty-three years sit lightly 
upon him; he could pass for a younger man say thirty-six or thirty- 
seven. He has never married again passes himself off for a wid- 
ower. He stands well, is liked, is popular, and has many friends. 
Even I feel a drawing toward him the paternal blood in me mak- 
ing its claim. How blind and unreasoning and arbitrary are some of 
the laws of nature the most of them, in fact! My task is become 
hard now you realize it? you comprehend, and make allowances? 
and the fire of it has cooled, more than I like to confess to myself. 
But I will carry it out. Even with the pleasure paled, the duty re- 
mains, and I will not spare him. 

And for my help, a sharp resentment rises in me when I reflect 
that he who committed that odious crime is the only one who has 
not suffered by it. The lesson of it has manifesdy reformed his char- 
acter, and in the change he is happy. He, the guilty party, is ab- 
solved from all suffering; you, the innocent, are borne down with it. 
But be comforted he shall harvest his share. 


I placarded Form No. i at midnight of April 3; an hour later I 
slipped Form No. 2 under his chamber door, notifying him to leave 
Denver at or before 11.50 the night of the i4th. 

Some late bird of a reporter stole one of my placards, then hunted 
the town over and found the other one, and stole that. In this man- 
ner he accomplished what the profession call a "scoop" that is, 
he got a valuable item, and saw to it that no other paper got it. And 
so his paper the principal one in the town had it in glaring 
type on the editorial page in the morning, followed by a Vesuvian 
opinion of our wretch a column long, which wound up by adding 
a thousand dollars to our reward on the paper's account! The journals 
out here know how to do the noble thing when there's business 
in it. 

At breakfast I occupied my usual seat selected because it af- 
forded a view of Papa Fuller's face, and was near enough for me to 
hear the talk that went on at his table. Seventy-five or a hundred 
people were in the room, and all discussing that item, and saying 


they hoped the seeker would find that rascal and remove the pollu- 
tion of his presence from the town with a rail, or a bullet, or some- 

When Fuller came in he had the Notice to Leave folded up 
in one hand, and the newspaper in the other; and it gave me more 
than half a pang to see him. His cheerfulness was all gone, and he 
looked old and pinched and ashy. And then only think of the 
things he had to listen to! Mamma, he heard his own unsuspecting 
friends describe him with epithets and characterizations drawn from 
the very dictionaries and phrase books of Satan's own authorized 
editions down below. And more than that, he had to agree with the 
verdicts and applaud them. His applause tasted bitter in his mouth, 
though; he could not disguise that from me; and it was observable 
that his appetite was gone; he only nibbled; he couldn't eat. Finally 
a man said: 

"It is quite likely that that relative is in the room and hearing 
what this town thinks of that unspeakable scoundrel. I hope so." 

Ah, dear, it was pitiful the way Fuller winced, and glanced around 
scared! He couldn't endure any more, and got up and left. 

During several days he gave out that he had bought a mine in 
Mexico, and wanted to sell out and go down there as soon as he 
could, and give the property his personal attention. He played his 
cards well; said he would take $40,000 a quarter in cash, the rest 
in safe notes; but that as he greatly needed money on account of his 
new purchase, he would diminish his terms for cash in full. He sold 
out for $30,000. And then, what do you think he did ? He asked for 
greenbacks, and took them, saying the man in Mexico was a New 
Englander, with a head full of crotchets, and preferred greenbacks 
to gold or drafts. People thought it queer, since a draft on New York 
could produce greenbacks quite conveniently. There was talk of 
this odd thing, but only for a day; that is as long as any topic lasts 
in Denver. 

I was watching, all the time. As soon as the sale was completed 
and the money paid which was on the nth I began to stick 
to Fuller's track without dropping it for a moment. That night 
no, 1 2th, for it was a little past midnight I tracked him to his 
room, which was four doors from mine in the same hall; then I 
went back and put on my muddy day-laborer disguise, darkened my 
complexion, and sat down in my room in the gloom, with a grip- 
sack handy, with a change in it, and my door ajar. For I suspected 
that the bird would take wing now. In half an hour an old woman 
passed by, carrying a grip: I caught the familiar whiff, and followed 


with my grip, for it was Fuller. He left the hotel by a side entrance, 
and at the corner he turned up an unfrequented street and walked 
three blocks in a light rain and a heavy darkness, and got into a two- 
horse hack, which of course was waiting for him by appointment. I 
took a seat (uninvited) on the trunk platform behind, and we drove 
briskly off. We drove ten miles, and the hack stopped at a way sta- 
tion and was discharged. Fuller got out and took a seat on a barrow 
under the awning, as far as he could get from the light; I went in- 
side, and watched the ticket office. Fuller bought no ticket; I bought 
none. Presently the train came along, and he boarded a car; I entered 
the same car at the other end, and came down the aisle and took 
the seat behind him. When he paid the conductor and named his 
objective point, I dropped back several seats, while the conductor was 
changing a bill, and when he came to me I paid to the same place 
about a hundred miles westward. 

From that time for a week on end he led me a dance. He traveled 
here and there and yonder always on a general westward trend 
but he was not a woman after the first day. He was a laborer, like 
myself, and wore bushy false whiskers. His outfit was perfect, and 
he could do the character without thinking about it, for he had 
served the trade for wages. His nearest friend could not have recog- 
nized him. At last he located himself here, the obscurest little moun- 
tain camp in Montana; he has a shanty, and goes out prospecting 
daily; is gone all day, and avoids society. I am living at a miner's 
boardinghouse, and it is an awful place: the bunks, the food, the 
dirt everything. 

We have been here four weeks, and in that time I have seen him 
but once; but every night I go over his track and post myself. As 
soon as he engaged a shanty here I went to a town fifty miles away 
and telegraphed that Denver hotel to keep my baggage till I should 
send for it. I need nothing here but a change of army shirts, and I 
brought that with me. 


The Denver episode has never found its way here, I think. I know 
the most of the men in camp, and they have never referred to it, at 
least in my hearing. Fuller doubtless feels quite safe in these condi- 
tions. He has located a claim, two miles away, in an out-of-the-way 
place in the mountains; it promises very well, and he is working it 
diligently. Ah, but the change in him! He never smiles, and he keeps 
quite to himself, consorting with no one he who was so fond of 
company and so cheery only two months ago. I have seen him pass- 


ing along several times recently drooping, forlorn, the spring gone 
from his step, a pathetic figure. He calls himself David Wilson. 

I can trust him to remain here until we disturb him. Since you in- 
sist, I will banish him again, but I do not see how he can be unhappier 
than he already is. I will go back to Denver and treat myself to a 
little season of comfort, and edible food, and endurable beds, and 
bodily decency; then I will fetch my things, and notify poor Papa 
Wilson to move on. 

DENVER, June 19 

They miss him here. They all hope he is prospering in Mexico, 
and they do not say it just with their mouths, but out of their hearts. 
You know you can always tell. I am loitering here overlong, I con- 
fess it. But if you were in my place you would have charity for me. 
Yes, I know what you will say, and you are right: if I were in your 
place, and carried your scalding memories in my heart 

I will take the night train back tomorrow. 

DENVER, June 20 

God forgive us, Mother, we are hunting the wrong man! I have 
not slept any all night. I am now waiting, at dawn, for the morning 
train and how the minutes drag, how they drag! 

This Jacob Fuller is a cousin of the guilty one. How stupid we have 
been not to reflect that the guilty one would never again wear his 
own name after that fiendish deed! The Denver Fuller is four years 
younger than the other one; he came here a young widower in '79* 
aged twenty-one a year before you were married; and the docu- 
ments to prove it are innumerable. Last night I talked with familiar 
friends of his who have known him from the day of his arrival. I 
said nothing, but a few days from now I will land him in this town 
again, with the loss upon his mine made good; and there will be a 
banquet, and a torchlight procession, and there will not be any ex- 
pense on anybody but me. Do you call this "gush"? I am only a 
boy, as you well know; it is my privilege. By and by I shall not be 
a boy any more. 


Mother, he is gone! Gone, and left no trace. The scent was cold 
when I came. Today I am out of bed for the first time since. I wish 
I were not a boy; then I could stand shocks better. They all think 
he went west. I start tonight, in a wagon two or three hours of 
that, then I get a train. I don't know where I'm going, but I must 
go; to try to keep still would be torture. 


Of course he has effaced himself with a new name and a disguise. 
This means that I may have to search the whole globe to find him. 
Indeed it is what I expect. Do you see, Mother? It is / that am the 
Wandering Jew. The irony of it! We arranged that for another. 

Think of the difficulties! And there would be none if I only could 
advertise for him. But if there is any way to do it that would not 
frighten him, I have not been able to think it out, and I have tried 
till my brains are addled. "If the gentleman who lately bought a 
mine in Mexico and sold one in Denver will send his address to" 
(to whom, Mother!), "it will be explained to him that it was all a 
mistake; his forgiveness will be asked, and full reparation made for 
a loss which he sustained in a certain matter." Do you see? He would 
think it a trap. Well, anyone would. If I should say, "It is now known 
that he was not the man wanted, but another man a man who 
once bore the same name, but discarded it for good reasons" - would 
that answer? But the Denver people would wake up then and say 
"Oho!" and they would remember about the suspicious greenbacks, 
and say, "Why did he run away if he wasn't the right man? it is 
too thin." If I failed to find him he would be ruined there there 
where there is no taint upon him now. You have a better head than 
mine. Help me. 

I have one clue, and only one. I know his handwriting. If he puts 
his new false name upon a hotel register and does not disguise it 
too much, it will be valuable to me if I ever run across it. 

You already know how well I have searched the states from Colo- 
rado to the Pacific, and how nearly I came to getting him once. Well, 
I have had another close miss. It was here, yesterday. I struck his 
trail, hot, on the street, and followed it on a run to a cheap hotel. 
That was a costly mistake; a dog would have gone the other way. 
But I am only part dog, and can get very humanly stupid when ex- 
cited. He had been stopping in that house ten days; I almost know, 
now, that he stops long nowhere, the past six or eight months, but is 
restless and has to keep moving. I understand that feeling! and I 
know what it is to feel it. He still uses the name he had registered 
when I came so near catching him nine months ago "James 
Walker"; doubtless the same he adopted when he fled from Silver 
Gulch. An unpretending man, and has small taste for fancy names. 
I recognized the hand easily, through its slight disguise. A square 
man, and not good at shams and pretenses. 

They said he was just gone, on a journey; left no address; didn't 


say where he was going; looked frightened when asked to leave his 
address; had no baggage but a cheap valise; carried it off on^foot 
a "stingy old person, and not much loss to the house." "Old I" I sup- 
pose he is, now. I hardly heard; I was there but a moment. I rushed 
along his trail, and it led me to a wharf. Mother, the smoke of the 
steamer he had taken was just fading out on the horizon! I should 
have saved half an hour if I had gone in the right direction at first. 
I could have taken a fast tug, and should have stood a chance of 
catching that vessel. She is bound for Melbourne. 

HOPE CANON, CALIFORNIA, October 3, 1900 

You have a right to complain. "A letter a year" is a paucity; I 
freely acknowledge it; but how can one write when there is nothing 
to write about but failures? No one can keep it up; it breaks the heart. 

I told you it seems ages ago, now how I missed him at Mel- 
bourne, and then chased him all over Australasia for months on end. 

Well, then, after that I followed him to India; almost saw him in 
Bombay; traced him all around to Baroda, Rawal-Pindi, Luck- 
now, Lahore, Cawnpore, Allahabad, Calcutta, Madras oh, every- 
where; week after week, month after month, through the dust and 
swelter always approximately on his track, sometimes close upon 
him, yet never catching him. And down to Ceylon, and then to 
Never mind; by and by I will write it all out. 

I chased him home to California, and down to Mexico, and back 
again to California. Since then I have been hunting him about the 
state from the first of last January down to a month ago. I feel al- 
most sure he is not far from Hope Canon; I traced him to a point 
thirty miles from here, but there I lost the trail; someone gave him a 
lift in a wagon, I suppose. 

I am taking a rest, now modified by searchings for the lost trail. 
I was tired to death, Mother, and low-spirited, and sometimes com- 
ing uncomfortably near to losing hope; but the miners in this little 
camp are good fellows, and I am used to their sort this long time 
back; and their breezy ways freshen a person up and make him for- 
get his troubles. I have been here a month. I am cabining with a 
young fellow named "Sammy" Hillyer, about twenty-five, the only 
son of his mother like me and loves. her dearly, and writes to 
her every week part of which is like me. He is a timid body, and in 
the matter of intellect well, he cannot be depended upon to set a 
river on fire; but no matter, he is well liked; he is good and fine, 
and it is meat and bread and rest and luxury to sit and talk with 
him and have a comradeship again. I wish "James Walker" could 


have it. He had friends; he liked company. That brings up that pic- 
ture of him, the time that I saw him last. The pathos of it! It comes 
before me often and often. At that very time, poor thing, I was gird- 
ing up my conscience to make him move on again! 

Hillyer's heart is better than mine, better than anybody's in the 
community, I suppose, for he is the one friend of the black sheep of 
the camp Flint Buckner and the only man Flint ever talks with 
or allows to talk with him. He says he knows Flint's history, and that 
it is trouble that has made him what he is, and so one ought to be 
as charitable toward him as one can. Now none but a pretty large 
heart could find space to accommodate a lodger like Flint Buckner, 
from all I hear about him outside. I think that this one detail will 
give you a better idea of Sammy's character than any labored-out 
description I could furnish you of him. In one of our talks he said 
something about like this: "Flint is a kinsman of mine, and he pours 
out all his troubles to me empties his breast from time to time, 
or I reckon it would burst. There couldn't be any unhappier man, 
Archy Stillman; his life had been made up of misery of mind he 
isn't near as old as he looks. He has lost the feel of reposefulness and 
peace oh, years and years ago! He doesn't know what good luck 
is never has had any; often says he wishes he was in the other hell, 
he is so tired of this one." 


October is the time 1900; Hope Canon is the place, a silver- 
mining camp away down in the Esmeralda region. It is a secluded 
spot, high and remote; recent as to discovery; thought by its oc- 
cupants to be rich in metal a year or two's prospecting will decide 
that matter one way or the other. For inhabitants, the camp has 
about two hundred miners, one white woman and child, several 
Chinese washermen, five squaws, and a dozen vagrant buck Indians 
in rabbitskin robes, battered plug hats, and tin-can necklaces. There 
are no mills as yet; no church, no newspaper. The camp has existed 
but two years; it has made no big strike; the world is ignorant of 
its name and place. 

On both sides of the canon the mountains rise wall-like, three 
thousand feet, and the long spiral of straggling huts down in its 
narrow bottom gets a kiss from the sun only once a day, when he 
sails over at noon. The village is a couple of miles long; the cabins 
stand well apart from each other. The tavern is the only "frame" 


house the only house, one might say. It occupies a central position, 
and is the evening resort of the population. They drink there, and 
play seven-up and dominoes; also billiards, for there is a table, crossed 
all over with torn places repaired with court plaster; there are some 
cues, but no leathers; some chipped balls which clatter when they 
run, and do not slow up gradually, but stop suddenly and sit down; 
there is a part of a cube of chalk, with a projecting jag of flint in it; 
and the man who can score six on a single break can set up the drinks 
at the bar's expense. 

Flint Buckner's cabin was the last one of the village, going south; 
his silver claim was at the other end of the village, northward, and 
a little beyond the last hut in that direction. He was a sour creature, 
unsociable, and had no companionships. People who had tried to 
get acquainted with him had regretted it and dropped him. His 
history was not known. Some believed that Sammy Hillyer knew it; 
others said no. If asked, Hillyer said no, he was not acquainted with 
it. Flint had a meek English youth of sixteen or seventeen with him, 
whom he treated roughly, both in public and in private; and of 
course this lad was applied to for information, but with no success. 
Fetlock Jones name of the youth said that Flint picked him up 
on a prospecting tramp, and as he had neither home nor friends in 
America, he had found it wise to stay and take Buckner's hard usage 
for the sake of the salary, which was bacon and beans. Further than 
this he could offer no testimony. 

Fetlock had been in this slavery for a month now, and under his 
meek exterior he was slowly consuming to a cinder with the insults 
and humiliations which his master had put upon him. For the meek 
suffer bitterly from these hurts; more bitterly, perhaps, than do the 
manlier sort, who can burst out and get relief with words or blows 
when the limit of endurance has been reached. Goodhearted people 
wanted to help Fetlock out of his trouble, and tried to get him to leave 
Buckner; but the boy showed fright at the thought, and said he 
"dasn't." Pat Riley urged him, and said: 

"You leave the damned hunks and come with me; don't you be 
afraid. I'll take care of him" 

The boy thanked him with tears in his eyes, but shuddered and 
said he "dasn't risk it"; he said Flint would catch him alone, some- 


time, in the night, and then "Oh, it makes me sick, Mr. Riley, to 
think of it." 

Others said, "Run away from him; we'll stake you; skip out for 
the coast some night." But all these suggestions failed; he said Flint 
would hunt him down and fetch him back, just for meanness. 

The people could not understand this. The boy's miseries went 
steadily on, week after week. It is quite likely that the people would 
have understood if they had known how he was employing his spare 
time. He slept in an out-cabin near Flint's; and there, nights, he 
nursed his bruises and his humiliations, and studied and studied over 
a single problem how he could murder Flint Buckner and not be 
found out. It was the only joy he had in life; these hours were the 
only ones in the twenty-four which he looked forward to with eager- 
ness and spent in happiness. 

He thought of poison. No that would not serve; the inquest 
would reveal where it was procured and who had procured it. He 
thought of a shot in the back in a lonely place when Flint would 
be homeward bound at midnight his unvarying hour for the trip. 
No somebody might be near, and catch him. He thought of stab- 
bing him in his sleep. No he might strike an inefficient blow, and 
Flint would seize him. He examined a hundred different ways- 
none of them would answer; for in even the very obscurest and 
secretest of them there was always the fatal defect of a ris\, a chance, 
a possibility that he might be found out. He would have none of that. 

But he was patient, endlessly patient. There was no hurry, he said 
to himself. He would never leave Flint till he left him a corpse; 
there was no hurry he would find the way. It was somewhere, 
and he would endure shame and pain and misery until he found it. 
Yes, somewhere there was a way which would leave not a trace, 
not even the faintest clue to the murderer there was no hurry - 
he would find that way, and then oh, then, it would just be good 
to be alive! Meantime he would diligently keep up his reputation for 
meekness; and also, as always theretofore, he would allow no one 
to hear him say a resentful or offensive thing about his oppressor. 

Two days before the before-mentioned October morning Flint had 
bought some things, and he and Fetlock had brought them home to 
Flint's cabin: a fresh box of candles, which they put in the corner; 


a tin can of blasting powder, which they placed upon the candle box; 
a keg of blasting powder, which they placed under Flint's bunk; 
a huge coil of fuse, which they hung on a peg. Fetlock reasoned that 
Flint's mining operations had outgrown the pick, and that blasting 
was about to begin now. He had seen blasting done, and he had a 
notion of the process, but he had never helped in it. His conjecture 
was right blasting time had come. In the morning the pair carried 
fuse, drills, and the powder can to the shaft; it was now eight feet 
deep, and to get into it and out of it a short ladder was used. They 
descended, and by command Fetlock held the drill without any 
instructions as to the right way to hold it and Flint proceeded to 
strike. The sledge came down; the drill sprang out of Fetlock's hand, 
almost as a matter of course. 

"You mangy son of a , is that any way to hold a drill ? Pick it 

up! Stand it up! There hold fast. /'// teach you!" 
At the end of an hour the drilling was finished. 
"Now, then, charge it." 
The boy started to pour in the powder. 

A heavy bat on the jaw laid the lad out. 

"Get up! You can't lie sniveling there. Now, then, stick in the 
fuse first. Now put in the powder. Hold on, hold on! Are you going 
to fill the hole all up ? Of all the sap-headed milksops I - Put in 
some dirt! Put in some gravel! Tamp it down! Hold on, hold on! 
Oh, great Scott! Get out of the way!" He snatched the iron and 
tamped the charge himself, meantime cursing and blaspheming like 
a fiend. Then he fired the fuse, climbed out of the shaft, and ran 
fifty yards away, Fetlock following. They stood waiting a few min- 
utes, then a great volume of smoke and rocks burst high into the air 
with a thunderous explosion; after a little there was a shower of 
descending stones; then all was serene again. 

"I wish to God you'd been in it!" remarked the master. 
They went down the shaft, cleaned it -out, drilled another hole, 
and put in another charge. 

"Look here! How much fuse are you proposing to waste? Don't 
you know how to time a fuse?" 
"No, sir." 
"You don't! Well, if you don't beat anything 7 ever saw!" 


He climbed out of the shaft and spoke down : 

"Well, idiot, are you going to be all day ? Cut the fuse and light it!" 

The trembling creature began: 

"If you please, sir, I " 

"You talk back to me? Cut it and light it!" 

The boy cut and lit. 

"Ger-reat Scott! A one-minute fuse! I wish you were in . . ." 

In his rage he snatched the ladder out of the shaft and ran. The 
boy was aghast. 

"Oh, my God! Help! Help! Save me!" he implored. 

He backed against the wall as tightly as he could; the sputtering 
fuse frightened the voice out of him; his breath stood still; he stood 
gazing and impotent; in two seconds, three seconds, four he would 
be flying toward the sky torn to fragments. Then he had an inspira- 
tion. He sprang at the fuse; severed the inch of it that was left above 
ground, and was saved. 

He sank down limp and half lifeless with fright, his strength gone; 
but he muttered with a deep joy: 

"He has learnt me! I knew there was a way, if I would wait." 

After a matter of five minutes Buckner stole to the shaft, looking 
worried and uneasy, and peered down into it. He took in the situa- 
tion; he saw what had happened. He lowered the ladder, and the boy 
dragged himself weakly up it. He was very white. His appearance 
added something to Buckner's uncomfortable state, and he said, with 
a show of regret and sympathy which sat upon him awkwardly from 
lack of practice : 

"It was an accident, you know. Don't say anything about it to 
anybody; I was excited, and didn't notice what I was doing. You're 
not looking well; you've worked enough for today; go down to my 
cabin and eat what you want, and rest. It's just an accident, you 
know, on account of my being excited." 

"It scared me," said the lad, as he started away, "but I learnt some- 
thing, so I don't mind it." 

"Damned easy to please!" muttered Buckner, following him with 
his eye. "I wonder if he'll tell. Mightn't he? ... I wish it had killed 

The boy took no advantage of his holiday in the matter of resting; 
he employed it in work, eager and feverish and happy work. A 


thick growth of chaparral extended down the mountainside clear to 
Flint's cabin; the most of Fetlock's labor was done in the dark in- 
tricacies of that stubborn growth; the rest of it was done in his own 
shanty. At last all was complete, and he said : 

"If he's got any suspicions that I'm going to tell on him, he won't 
keep them long, tomorrow. He will see that I am the same milksop 
as I always was all day and the next. And the day after tomorrow 
night there'll be an end of him; nobody will ever guess who finished 
him up nor how it was done. He dropped me the idea his own self, 
and that's odd." 


Two afternoons later the village was electrified with an immense 
sensation. A grave and dignified foreigner of distinguished bearing 
and appearance had arrived at the tavern, and entered this formidable 
name upon the register : 

Sherlocf( Holmes 

The news buzzed from cabin to cabin, from claim to claim; tools 
were dropped, and the town swarmed toward the center of interest. 
A man passing out at the northern end of the village shouted it to 
Pat Riley, whose claim was the next one to Flint Buckner's. At that 
time Fetlock Jones seemed to turn sick. He muttered to himself: 

"Uncle Sherloc{! The mean luck of it! that he should come 
just when . . ." He dropped into a reverie, and presently said to 
himself: "But what's the use of being afraid of him? Anybody that 
knows him the way I do knows he can't detect a crime except where 
he plans it all out beforehand and arranges the clues and hires some 
fellow to commit it according to instructions. . . . Now there ain't 
going to be any clues this time so, what show has he got? None 
at all. No, sir; everything's ready. If I was to risk putting it off 
No, I won't run any risk like that. Flint Buckner goes out of this 
world tonight, for sure." Then another trouble presented itself. "Un- 
cle Sherlock'll be wanting to talk home matters with me this evening, 
and how am I going to get rid of him, for I've got to be at my cabin 
for a minute or two about eight o'clock?" This was an awkward 
matter, and cost him much thought. But he found a way to beat the 
difficulty. "We'll go for a walk, and I'll leave him in the road a 


minute, so that he won't see what it is I do; the best way to throw a 
detective off the track, anyway, is to have him along when you are 
preparing the thing. Yes, that's the safest I'll take him with me." 

Meantime the road in front of the tavern was blocked with vil- 
lagers waiting and hoping for a glimpse of the great man. But he 
kept his room, and did not appear. None but Wells-Fargo's man, 
Ferguson, Jake Parker the blacksmith, and Ham Sandwich the miner 
had any luck. These enthusiastic admirers of the great scientific de- 
tective hired the tavern's detained-baggage lockup, which looked into 
the detective's room across a little alleyway ten or twelve feet wide, 
ambushed themselves in it, and cut some peepholes in die window 
blind. Mr. Holmes's blinds were down; but by and by he raised them. 
It gave the spies a hair-lifting but pleasurable thrill to find themselves 
face to face with the Extraordinary Man who had filled the world 
with the fame of his more than human ingenuities. There he sat - 
not a myth, not a shadow, but real, alive, compact of substance, and 
almost within touching distance with the hand. 

"Look at that head!" said Ferguson, in an awed voice. "By gracious, 
that's a head!" 

"You bet!" said the blacksmith, with deep reverence. "Look at his 
nose! Look at his eyes! Intellect? Just a battery of it!" 

"And that paleness," said Ham Sandwich. "Comes from thought 
that's what it comes from. Hell! Duffers like us don't know what 
real thought is" 

"No more we don't," said Ferguson. "What we take for thinking 
is just blubber and slush." 

"Right you are, Wells-Fargo. And look at that frown that's deep 
thinking away down, down, forty fathom into the bowels of things. 
He's on the track of something." 

"Well, he is, and don't you forget it. Say look at that awful 
gravity look at that pallid solemnness there ain't any corpse 
can lay over it." 

"No, sir, not for dollars! And it's his'n by hereditary rights, too; 
he's been dead four times a'ready, and there's history for it. Three 
times natural, once by accident. I've heard say he smells damp and 
cold, like a grave. And he " 

"'Sh! Watch him! There he's got his thumb on the bump on 
the near corner of his forehead, and his forefinger on the off one. 


His think-works is just ^-grinding now, you bet your other shirt." 
"That's so. And now he's gazing up toward heaven and stroking 
his mustache slow, and " 

"Now he has rose up standing, and is putting his clues together 
on his left fingers with his right finger. See? He touches the fore- 
finger now middle finger now ring finger " 

"Look at him scowl! He can't seem to make out that clue. So he " 
"See him smile like a tiger and tally off the other fingers like 
nothing! He's got it, boys; he's got it sure!" 
"Well, I should say! I'd hate to be in that man's place that he's 


Mr. Holmes drew a table to the window, sat down with his back 
to the spies, and proceeded to write. The spies withdrew their eyes 
from the peepholes, lit their pipes, and settled themselves for a com- 
fortable smoke and talk. Ferguson said, with conviction: 

"Boys, it's no use talking, he's a wonder! He's got the signs of it 
all over him." 

"You hain't ever said a truer word than that, Wells-Fargo," said 

Jake Parker. 
Ferguson sat silently, then he murmured, with a deep awe in his 

voice : 

"I wonder if God made him." 

There was no response for a moment; then Ham Sandwich said, 

"Not all at one time, I reckon." 


At eight o'clock that evening two persons were groping their way 
past Flint Buckner's cabin in the frosty gloom. They were Sherlock 
Holmes and his nephew. 

"Stop here in the road a moment, Uncle," said Fetlock, "while I 
run to my cabin; I won't be gone a minute." 

He asked for something the uncle furnished it then he disap- 
peared in the darkness, but soon returned, and the talking walk was 
resumed. By nine o'clock they had wandered back to the tavern. They 
worked their way through the billiard room, where a crowd had 
gathered in the hope of getting a glimpse of the Extraordinary Man. 


A royal cheer was raised. Mr. Holmes acknowledged the compliment 
with a series of courtly bows, and as he was passing out his nephew 
said to the assemblage : 

"Uncle Sherlock's got some work to do, gentlemen, that'll keep 
him till twelve or one; but he'll be down again then, or earlier if he 
can, and hopes some of you'll be left to take a drink with him." 

"By George, he's just a duke, boys! Three cheers for Sherlock 
Holmes, the greatest man that ever lived!" shouted Ferguson. "Hip, 
hip, hip " 

"Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Tiger!" 

The uproar shook the building, so hearty was the feeling the boys 
put into their welcome. Upstairs the uncle reproached the nephew 
gently, saying: 

"What did you get me into that engagement for?" 

"I reckon you don't want to be unpopular, do you, Uncle? Well, 
then, don't you put on any exclusiveness in a mining camp, that's 
all. The boys admire you; but if you was to leave without taking a 
drink with them, they'd set you down for a snob. And besides, you 
said you had home talk enough in stock to keep us up and at it half 
the night." 

The boy was right, and wise the uncle acknowledged it. The 
boy was wise in another detail which he did not mention except 
to himself : "Uncle and the others will come handy in the way of 
nailing an alibi where it can't be budged." 

He and his uncle talked diligently about three hours. Then, about 
midnight, Fetlock stepped downstairs and took a position in the dark 
a dozen steps from the tavern, and waited. Five minutes later Flint 
Buckner came rocking out of the billiard room and almost brushed 
him as he passed. 

"I've got him!" muttered the boy. He continued to himself, looking 
after the shadowy form : "Good-by good-by for good, Flint Buck- 
ner; you called my mother a well, never mind what: it's all right, 
now; you're taking your last walk, friend." 

He went musing back into the tavern. "From now till one is an 
hour. We'll spend it with the boys: it's good for the alibi" 

He brought Sherlock Holmes to the billiard room, which was 
jammed with eager and admiring miners; the guest called the drinks, 
and the fun began. Everybody was happy; everybody was compli- 


mentary; the ice was soon broken, songs, anecdotes, and more drinks 
followed, and the pregnant minutes flew. At six minutes to one, 
when the jollity was at its highest 


There was silence instantly. The deep sound came rolling and 
rumbling from peak to peak up the gorge, then died down, and 
ceased. The spell broke, then, and the men made a rush for the door, 
saying : 

"Something's blown up!" 

Outside, a voice in the darkness said, "It's away down the gorge; 
I saw the flash." 

The crowd poured down the canon Holmes, Fetlock, Archy 
Stillman, everybody. They made the mile in a few minutes. By the 
light of a lantern they found the smooth and solid dirt floor of Flint 
Buckner's cabin; of the cabin itself not a vestige remained, not a 
rag nor a splinter. Nor any sign of Flint. Search parties sought here 
and there and yonder, and presently a cry went up. 

"Here he is!" 

It was true. Fifty yards down the gulch they had found him 
that is, they had found a crushed and lifeless mass which represented 
him. Fetlock Jones hurried thither with the others and looked. 

The inquest was a fifteen-minute affair. Ham Sandwich, foreman 
of the jury, handed up the verdict, which was phrased with a certain 
unstudied literary grace, and closed with this finding, to wit: that 
"deceased came to his death by his own act or some other person or 
persons unknown to this jury not leaving any family or similar 
effects behind but his cabin which was blown away and God have 
mercy on his soul amen." 

Then the impatient jury rejoined the main crowd, for the storm- 
center of interest was there Sherlock Holmes. The miners stood 
silent and reverent in a half-circle, inclosing a large vacant space 
which included the front exposure of the site of the late premises. 
In this considerable space the Extraordinary Man was moving about, 
attended by his nephew with a lantern. With a tape he took measure- 
ments of the cabin site; of the distance from the wall of chaparral to 
the road; of the height of the chaparral bushes; also various other 
measurements. He gathered a rag here, a splinter there, and a pinch 
of earth yonder, inspected them profoundly, and preserved them. He 


took the "lay" of the place with a pocket-compass, allowing two 
seconds for magnetic variation. He took the time (Pacific) by his 
watch, correcting it for local time. He paced off the distance from the 
cabin site to the corpse, and corrected that for tidal differentiation. 
He took the altitude with a pocket aneroid, and the temperature with 
a pocket thermometer. Finally he said, with a stately bow: 

"It is finished. Shall we return, gentlemen?" 

He took up the line of march for the tavern, and the crowd fell 
into his wake, earnestly discussing and admiring the Extraordinary 
Man, and interlarding guesses as to the origin of the tragedy and who 
the author of it might be. 

"My, but it's grand luck having him here hey, boys?" said 

"It's the biggest thing of the century," said Ham Sandwich. "It'll 
go all over the world; you mark my words." 

"You bet!" said Jake Parker, the blacksmith. "It'll boom this camp. 
Ain't it so, Wells-Far go?" 

"Well, as you want my opinion if it's any sign of how / think 
about it, I can tell you this : yesterday I was holding the Straight Flush 
claim at two dollars a foot; I'd like to see the man that can get it at 
sixteen today." 

"Right you are, Wells-Fargo! It's the grandest luck a new camp 
ever struck. Say, did you see him collar them little rags and dirt and 
things? What an eye! He just can't overlook a clue--'tain't in him." 

"That's so. And they wouldn't mean a thing to anybody else; but 
to him, why, they're just a book large print at that." 

"Sure's you're born! Them odds and ends have got their little old 
secret, and they think there ain't anybody can pull it; but, land! 
when he sets his grip there they've got to squeal, and don't you forget 

"Say, boys, who do you reckon done it?" 

That was a difficult question, and brought out a world of un- 
satisfying conjecture. Various men were mentioned as possibilities, 
but one by one they were discarded as not being eligible. No one but 
young Hillyer had been intimate with Flint Buckner; no one had 
really had a quarrel with him; he had affronted every man who had 
tried to make up to him, although not quite offensively enough to 
require bloodshed. There was one name that was upon every tongue 


from the start, but it was the last to get utterance Fetlock Jones's. 
It was Pat Riley that mentioned it. 

"Oh, well," the boys said, "of course we've all thought of him, 
because he had a million rights to kill Flint Buckner, and it was just 
his plain duty to do it. But all the same there's two things we can't 
get around: for one thing, he hasn't got the sand; and for another, 
he wasn't anywhere near the place when it happened." 

"I know it," said Pat. "He was there in the billiard room with us 
when it happened." 

"Yes, and was there all the time for an hour before it happened." 

"It's so. And lucky for him, too. He'd have been suspected in a 
minute if it hadn't been for that." 


The tavern dining room had been cleared of all its furniture save 
one six-foot pine table and a chair. This table was against one end 
of the room; the chair was on it; Sherlock Holmes, stately, imposing, 
impressive, sat in the chair. The public stood. The room was full. 
The tobacco smoke was dense, the stillness profound. 

The Extraordinary Man raised his hand to command additional 
silence; held it in the air a few moments; then, in brief, crisp terms 
he put forward question after question, and noted the answers with 
"Um-ums," nods of the head, and so on. By this process he learned 
all about Flint Buckner, his character, conduct, and habits, that the 
people were able to tell him. It thus transpired that the Extraordinary 
Man's nephew was the only person in the camp who had a killing- 
grudge against Flint Buckner. Mr. Holmes smiled compassionately 
upon the witness, and asked, languidly: 

"Do any of you gentlemen chance to know where the lad Fetlock 
Jones was at the time of the explosion?" 

A thunderous response followed: 

"In the billiard room of this house!" 

"Ah. And had he just come in?" 

"Been there all of an hour!" 

"Ah. It is about about well, about how far might it be to the 
scene of the explosion?" 

"All of a mile!" 


"Ah. It isn't much of an alibi, 'tis true, but " 

A storm-burst of laughter, mingled with shouts of "By Jimminy, 
but he's chain lightning!" and "Ain't you sorry you spoke, Sandy?" 
shut off the rest of the sentence, and the crushed witness drooped his 
blushing face in pathetic shame. The inquisitor resumed: 

"The lad Jones's somewhat distant connection with the case" 
(laughter} "having been disposed of, let us now call the eye-witnesses 
of the tragedy, and listen to what they have to say." 

He got out his fragmentary clues and arranged them on a sheet of 
cardboard on his knee. The house held its breath and watched. 

"We have the longitude and the latitude, corrected for magnetic 
variation, and this gives us the exact location of the tragedy. We have 
the altitude, the temperature, and the degree of humidity prevailing 
inestimably valuable, since they enable us to estimate with precision 
the degree of influence which they would exercise upon the mood and 
disposition of the assassin at that time of the night." 

(Buzz of admiration; muttered remarf^, "By George, but he's 
deep!") He fingered his clues. "And now let us ask these mute 
witnesses to speak to us. 

"Here we have an empty linen shot-bag. What is its message? 
This: that robbery was the motive, not revenge. What is its further 
message ? This : that the assassin was of inferior intelligence shall 
we say light-witted, or perhaps approaching that ? How do we know 
this ? Because a person of sound intelligence would not have proposed 
to rob the man Buckner, who never had much money with him. But 
the assassin might have been a stranger ? Let the bag speak again. I 
take from it this article. It is a bit of silver-bearing quartz. It is 
peculiar. Examine it, please you and you and you. Now pass 
it back, please. There is but one lode on this coast which produces 
just that character and color of quartz; and that is a lode which crops 
out for nearly two miles on a stretch, and in my opinion is destined, 
at no distant day, to confer upon its locality a globe-girdling celebrity, 
and upon its two hundred owners riches beyond the dreams of avarice. 
Name that lode, please." 

"The Consolidated Christian Science and Mary Ann!" was the 
prompt response. 

A wild crash of hurrahs followed, and every man reached for his 


neighbor's hand and wrung it, with tears in his eyes; and Wells- 
Fargo Ferguson shouted, "The Straight Flush is on the lode, and up 
she goes to a hundred and fifty a foot you hear me!" 

When quiet fell, Mr. Holmes resumed: 

"We perceive, then, that three facts are established, to wit: the 
assassin was approximately light-witted ; he was not a stranger; his 
motive was robbery, not revenge. Let us proceed. I hold in my hand 
a small fragment of fuse, with the recent smell of fire upon it. What 
is its testimony ? Taken with the corroborative evidence of the quartz, 
it reveals to us that the assassin was a miner. What does it tell 
us further? This, gentlemen: that die assassination was consum- 
mated by means of an explosive. What' else does it say ? This : that 
the explosive was located against the side of the cabin nearest 
the road the front side for within six feet of that spot I found 


"I hold in my fingers a burnt Swedish match the kind one rubs 
on a safety box. I found it in the road, six hundred and twenty-two 
feet from the abolished cabin. What does it say? This: that the train 
was fired from that point. What further does it tell us? This: that 
die assassin was left-handed. .How do I know this? I should not be 
able to explain to you, gentlemen, how I know it, the signs being so 
subtle that only long experience and deep study can enable one to 
detect them. But the signs are here, and they are reinforced by a 
fact which you must have often noticed in the great detective nar- 
ratives that all assassins are left-handed." 

"By Jackson, that's so!" said Ham Sandwich, bringing his great 
hand down with a resounding slap upon his thigh. "Blamed if I 
ever thought of it before." 

"Nor I!" "Nor I!" cried several. "Oh, there can't anything escape 
him look at his eye!" 

"Gentlemen, distant as the murderer was from his doomed victim, 
he did not wholly escape injury. This fragment of wood which I now 
exhibit to you struck him. It drew blood. Wherever he is, he bears 
the telltale mark. I picked it up where he stood when he fired the 
fatal train." He looked out over the house from his high perch, and 
his countenance began to darken; he slowly raised his hand, and 

"There stands the assassin!" 


For a moment the house was paralyzed with amazement; then 
twenty voices burst out with: 

"Sammy Hillyer? Oh, hell, no! Him? It's pure foolishness!" 

"Take care, gentlemen -- be not hasty. Observe he has the blood- 
mark on his brow." 

Hillyer turned white with fright. He was near to crying. He turned 
this way and that, appealing to every face for help and sympathy; 
and held out his supplicating hands toward Holmes and began to 

"Don't, oh, don't! I never did it; I give my word I never did it. 
The way I got this hurt on my forehead was- 

" Arrest him, Constable!" cried Holmes. "I will swear out the 


The constable moved reluctantly forward -- hesitated stopped. 

Hillyer broke out with another appeal. "Oh, Archy, don't let 
them do it; it would kill Mother! You know how I got die hurt. 
Tell them, and save me, Archy; save me!" 

Stillman worked his way to the front, and said: 

"Yes, I'll save you. Don't be afraid." Then he said to the house, 
"Never mind how he got the hurt; it hasn't anything to do with 
this case, and isn't of any consequence." 

"God bless you, Archy, for a true friend!" 

"Hurrah for Archy! Go in, boy, and play 'em a knock-down flush 
to their two pair 'n' a jack!" shouted the house, pride in their home 
talent and a patriotic sentiment of loyalty to it rising suddenly in 
the public heart and changing the whole attitude of the situation. 

Young Stillman waited for die noise to cease; then he said: 

"I will ask Tom Jeffries to stand by that door yonder, and Con- 
stable Harris to stand by the other one here, and not let anybody 
leave the room." 

"Said and done. Go on, old man!" 

"The criminal is present, I believe. I will show him to you before 
long, in case I am right in my guess. Now I will tell you all about the 
tragedy, from start to finish. The motive wasn't robbery; it was re- 
venge. The murderer wasn't light-witted. He didn't stand six hun- 
dred and twenty-two feet away. He didn't get hit with a piece of 
wood. He didn't place the explosive against the cabin. He didn't 
bring a shot-bag with him, and he wasn't left-handed. With the 


exception of these errors, the distinguished guest's statement of the 
case is substantially correct." 

A comfortable laugh rippled over the house; friend nodded to 
friend, as much as to say, "That's the word, with the bark on it. 
Good lad, good boy. He ain't lowering his flag any!" 

The guest's serenity was not disturbed. Stillman resumed: 

"I also have some witnesses; and I will presently tell you where 
you can find some more." He held up a piece of coarse wire; the 
crowd craned their necks to see. "It has a smooth coating of melted 
tallow on it. And here is a candle which is burned halfway down* 
The remaining half of it has marks cut upon it an inch apart. Soon 
I will tell you where I found these things. I will now put aside 
reasonings, guesses, the impressive hitchings of odds and ends of 
clues together, and the other showy theatricals of the detective trade, 
and tell you in a plain, straightforward way just how this dismal 
thing happened." 

He paused a moment, for effect to allow silence and suspense 
to intensify and concentrate the house's interest; then he went on: 

"The assassin studied out his plan with a good deal of pains. It was 
a good plan, very ingenious, and showed an intelligent mind, not a 
feeble one. It was a plan which was well calculated to ward off 
all suspicion from its inventor. In the first place, he marked a candle 
into spaces an inch apart, and lit it and timed it. He found it took 
three hours to burn four inches of it. I tried it myself for half an 
hour, awhile ago, upstairs here, while the inquiry into Flint Buckner's 
character and ways was being conducted in this room, and I arrived 
in that way at the rate of a candle's consumption when sheltered 
from the wind. Having proved his trial candle's rate, he blew it out 
I have already shown it to you and put his inch marks on a 

fresh one. 

"He put the fresh one into a tin candlestick. Then at the five-hour 
mark he bored a hole through the candle with a red-hot wire. I have 
already shown you the wire, with a smooth coat of tallow on it 
tallow that had been melted and had cooled. 

"With labor very hard labor, I should say he struggled up 
through the stiff chaparral that clothes the steep hillside back of 
Flint Buckner's place, tugging an empty flour barrel with him. He 
placed it in that absolutely secure hiding place, and in the bottom 


of it he set the candlestick. Then he measured off about thirty-five 
feet of fuse the barrel's distance from the back of the cabin. He 
bored a hole in the side of the barrel here is the large gimlet he 
did it with. He went on and finished his work; and when it was done, 
one end of the fuse was in Buckner's cabin, and the other end, with 
a notch chipped in it to expose the powder, was in the hole in the 
candle timed to blow the place up at one o'clock this morning, 
provided the candle was lit about eight o'clock yesterday evening - 
which I am betting it was and provided there was an explosive in 
the cabin and connected with that end of the fuse which I am 
also betting there was, though I can't prove it. Boys, the barrel is 
there in the chaparral, the candle's remains are in it in the tin stick; 
the burnt-out fuse is in the gimlet hole, the other end is down the 
hill where the late cabin stood. I saw them all an hour or two ago, 
when the professor here was measuring off unimplicated vacancies 
and collecting relics that hadn't anything to do with the case." 

He paused. The house drew a long, deep breath, shook its strained 

cords and muscles free and burst into cheers. "Dang him!" said Ham 

Sandwich, "that's why he was snooping around in the chaparral, 

instead of picking up points out of the p'fessor's game. Looky here 

- he ain't no fool, boys." 

"No, sir! Why, great Scott - 

But Stillman was resuming: 

"While we were out yonder an hour or two ago, the owner of the 
gimlet and the trial candle took them from a place where he had 
concealed them it was not a good place and carried them to 
what he probably thought was a better one, two hundred yards up 
in the pinewoods, and hid them there, covering them over with 
pine needles. It was there that I found them. The gimlet exactly 
fits the hole in the barrel. And now - 

The Extraordinary Man interrupted him. He said, sarcastically: 

"We have had a very pretty fairy tale, gentlemen very pretty 
indeed. Now I would like to ask this young man a question or two." 

Some of the boys winced, and Ferguson said . 

"I'm afraid Archy's going to catch it now." 

The others lost their smiles and sobered down. Mr. Holmes said : 

"Let us proceed to examine into this fairy tale in a consecutive 
and orderly way by geometrical progression, so to speak linking 


detail to detail in a steadily advancing and remorselessly consistent 
and unassailable march upon this tinsel toy fortress of error, the 
dream fabric of a callow imagination. To begin with, young sir, 
I desire to ask you but three questions at present at present. Did 
I understand you to say it was your opinion that the supposititious 
candle was lighted at about eight o'clock yesterday evening?" 
"Yes, sir about eight." 
"Could you say exactly eight?" 
"Well, no, I couldn't be that exact." 

"Um. If a person had been passing along there just about that 
time, he would have been almost sure to encounter that assassin, do 
you think?" 

"Yes, I should think so." 

"Thank you, that is all. For the present. I say, all for the present" 
"Dern him! He's laying for Archy," said Ferguson. 
"It's so," said Ham Sandwich. "I don't like the look of it." 
Stillman said, glancing at the guest, "I was along there myself at 
half-past eight no, about nine." 

"In-deed? This is interesting this is very interesting. Perhaps 
you encountered the assassin?" 
"No, I encountered no one." 

"Ah. Then if you will excuse the remark I do not quite see 
the relevancy of the information." 

"It has none. At present. I say it has none at present." 
He paused. Presently he resumed: "I did not encounter the as- 
sassin, but I am on his track, I am sure, for I believe he is in this 
room. I will ask you all to pass one by one in front of me here, 
where there is a good light so that I can see your feet." 

A buzz of excitement swept the place, and the march began, the 
guest looking on with an iron attempt at gravity which was not an 
unqualified success. Stillman stooped, shaded his eyes with his hand, 
and gazed down intently at each pair of feet as it passed. Fifty men 
tramped monotonously by --with no result. Sixty. Seventy. The 
thing was beginning to look absurd. The guest remarked, with 
suave irony: 

"Assassins appear to be scarce this evening." 
The house saw the humor of it, and refreshed itself with a cordial 
laugh. Ten or twelve more candidates tramped by no, danced by, 


with airy and ridiculous capers which convulsed the spectators 
then suddenly Stillman put out his hand and said: 

"This is the assassin!" 

"Fetlock Jones, by the Great Sanhedrim!" roared the crowd; and 
at once let fly a pyrotechnic explosion and dazzle and confusion of 
stirring remarks inspired by the situation. 

At the height of the turmoil the guest stretched out his hand, com- 
manding peace. The authority of a great name and a great personality 
laid its mysterious compulsion upon the house, and it obeyed. Out 
of the panting calm which succeeded, the guest spoke, saying, with 
dignity and feeling: 

"This is serious. It strikes at an innocent life. Innocent beyond 
suspicion! Innocent beyond peradventure! Hear me prove it; observe 
how simple a fact can brush out of existence this witless lie. Listen. 
My friends, that lad was never out of my sight yesterday evening at 
any time!" 

It made a deep impression. Men turned their eyes upon Stillman 
with grave inquiry in them. His face brightened, and he said: 

"I l(new there was another one!" He stepped briskly to the table 
and glanced at the guest's feet, then up at his face, and said: "You 
were with him! You were not fifty steps from him when he lit the 
candle that by and by fired the powder!" (Sensation.} "And what 
is more, you furnished the matches yourself!" 

Plainly the guest seemed hit; it looked so to the public. He opened 
his mouth to speak; the words did not come freely. 

"This er this is insanity this - 

Stillman pressed his evident advantage home. He held up a charred 

"Here is one of them. I found it in the barrel and there's another 
one there." 

The guest found his voice at once. 

"Yes and put them there yourself!" 

It was recognized a good shot. Stillman retorted: 

"It is wax a breed unknown to this camp. I am ready to be 
searched for the box. Are you?" 

The guest was staggered this time the dullest eye could see it. 
He fumbled with his hands; once or twice his lips moved, but the 
words did not come. The house waited and watched, in tense sus- 


pense, the stillness adding effect to the situation. Presently Stillman 
said, gently : 

"We are waiting for your decision." 

There was silence again during several moments; then the guest 
answered, in a low voice: 

"I refuse to be searched." 

There was no noisy demonstration, but all about the house one 
voice after another muttered: 

"That settles it! He's Archy's meat." 

What to do now ? Nobody seemed to know. It was an embarrassing 
situation for the moment merely, of course, because matters had 
taken such a sudden and unexpected turn that these unpractised 
minds were not prepared for it, and had come to a standstill, like a 
stopped clock, under the shock. But after a little the machinery 
began to work again, tentatively, and by twos and threes the men put 
their heads together and privately buzzed over this and that and the 
other proposition. One of these propositions met with much favor; 
it was, to confer upon the assassin a vote of thanks for removing Flint 
Buckner, and let him go. But the cooler heads opposed it, pointing 
out that addled brains in the eastern states would pronounce it a 
scandal, and make no end of foolish noise about it. Finally the cool 
heads got the upper hand, and obtained general consent to a proposi- 
tion of their own; their leader then called the house to order and 
stated it to this effect: that Fetlock Jones be jailed and put upon 


The motion was carried. Apparently there was nothing further to 
do now, and the people were glad, for, privately, they were impatient 
to get out and rush to the scene of the tragedy, and see whether that 
barrel and the other things were really there or not. 

B ut no _ the breakup got a check. The surprises were not over 
yet. For a while Fetlock Jones had been silently sobbing, unnoticed 
in the absorbing excitements which had been following one another 
so persistently for some time; but when -his arrest and trial were 
decreed, he broke out despairingly, and said : 

"No! It's no use. I don't want any jail, I don't want any trial; I've 
had all the hard luck I want, and all the miseries. Hang me now, and 
let me out! It would all come out, anyway there couldn't anything 
save me. He has told it all, just as if he'd been with me and seen it 


/ don't know how he found out; and you'll find the barrel and 
things, and then I wouldn't have any chance any more. I killed him; 
and you'd have done it too, if he'd treated you like a dog, and you 
only a boy, and weak and poor, and not a friend to help you." 

"And served him damned well right!" broke in Ham Sandwich. 
"Looky here, boys - 

From the constable: "Order! Order, gentlemen!" 

A voice: "Did your uncle know what you was up to?" 

"No, he didn't." 

"Did he give you the matches, sure enough?" 

"Yes, he did; but he didn't know what I wanted them for." 

"When you was out on such a business as that, how did you 
venture to risk having him along and him a detective? How's 

The boy hesitated, fumbled with his buttons in an embarrassed way, 
then said, shyly: 

"I know about detectives, on account of having them in the family; 
and if you don't want them to find out about a thing, it's best to have 
them around when you do it." 

The cyclone of laughter which greeted this naive discharge of 
wisdom did not modify the poor little waif's embarrassment in any 
large degree. 

From a letter to Mrs. Stillman, dated merely "Tuesday." 

Fetlock Jones was put under lock and key in an unoccupied log 
cabin, and left there to await his trial. Constable Harris provided 
him with a couple of days' rations, instructed him to keep a good 
guard over himself, and promised to look in on him as soon as further 
supplies should be due. 

Next morning a score of us went with Hillyer, out of friendship, 
and helped him bury his late relative, the unlamented Buckner, and I 
acted as first assistant pallbearer, Hillyer acting as chief. Just as we 
had finished our labors a ragged and melancholy stranger, carrying 
an old handbag, limped by with his head down, and I caught the 
scent I had chased around the globe! It was the odor of paradise to 
my perishing hope! 

In a moment I was at his side and had laid a gentle hand upon his 
shoulder. He slumped to the ground as if a stroke of lightning had 


withered him in his tracks; and as the boys came running he strug- 
gled to his knees and put up his pleading hands to me, and out of 
his chattering jaws he begged me to persecute him no more, and said: 
"You have hunted me around the world, Sherlock Holmes, yet 
God is my witness I have never done any man harm!" 

A glance at his wild eyes showed us that he was insane. That was 
my work, Mother! The tidings of your death can someday repeat 
the misery I felt in that moment, but nothing else can ever do it. 
The boys lifted him up, and gathered about him, and were full of 
pity of him, and said the gentlest and touchingest things to him, and 
said cheer up and don't be troubled, he was among friends now, and 
they would take care of him, and protect him, and hang any man that 
laid a hand on him. They are just like so many mothers, the rough 
mining-camp boys are, when you wake up the south side of their 
hearts; yes, and just like so many reckless and unreasoning children 
when you wake up the opposite of that muscle. They did everything 
they could think of to comfort him, but nothing succeeded until 
Wells-Fargo Ferguson, who is a clever strategist, said: 

"If it's only Sherlock Holmes that's troubling you, you needn't 
worry any more." 

"Why?" asked the forlorn lunatic, eagerly. 

"Because he's dead again." 

"Dead! Dead! Oh, don't trifle with a poor wreck like me. Is he 
dead? On honor, now-- is he telling me true, boys?" 

"True as you're standing there!" said Ham Sandwich, and they 
all backed up the statement in a body. 

"They hung him in San Bernardino last week," added Ferguson, 
clinching the matter, "whilst he was searching around after you. 
Mistook him for another man. They're sorry, but they can't help it 


"They're a-building him a monument," said Ham Sandwich, with 
the air of a person who had contributed to it, and knew. 

"James Walker" drew a deep sigh evidently a sigh of relief 
and said nothing; but his eyes lost something of their wildness, his 
countenance cleared visibly, and its drawn look relaxed a little. We 
all went to our cabin, and the boys cooked him the best dinner the 
camp could furnish the materials for, and while they were about it 
Hillyer and I outfitted him from hat to shoe leather with new 
clothes of ours, and made a comely and presentable old gentleman 
of him. "Old" is the right word, and a pity, too: old by the droop of 
him, and the frost upon his hair, and the marks which sorrow and 
distress have left upon his face; though he is only in his prime in the 


matter of years. While he ate, we smoked and chatted; and when he 
was finishing he found his voice at last, and of his own accord broke 
out with his personal history. I cannot furnish his exact words, but I 
will come as near it as I can. 


It happened like this: I was in Denver. I had been there many 
years; sometimes I remember how many, sometimes I don't but 
it isn't any matter. All of a sudden I got a notice to leave, or I would 
be exposed for a horrible crime committed long before years and 
years before in the East. 

I knew about that crime, but I was not the criminal; it was a cousin 
of mine of the same name. What should I better do? My head was 
all disordered by fear, and I didn't know. I was allowed very little 
t i me only one day, I think it was. I would be ruined if I was pub- 
lished, and the people would lynch me, and not believe what I said. 
It is always the way with lynchings: when they find out it is a mis- 
take they are sorry, but it is too late the same as it was with Mr. 
Holmes, you see. So I said I would sell out and get money to live 
on, and run away until it blew over and I could come back with my 
proofs. Then I escaped in the night and went a long way off in the 
mountains somewhere, and lived disguised and had a false name. 

I got more and more troubled and worried, and my troubles made 
me see spirits and hear voices, and I could not think straight and 
clear on any subject, but got confused and involved and had to give 
it up, because my head hurt so. It got to be worse and worse; more 
spirits and more voices. They were about me all the time; at first only 
in the night, then in the day too. They were always whispering 
around my bed and plotting against me, and it broke my sleep and 
kept me fagged out, because I got no good rest. 

And then came the worst. One night the whispers said, "We'll 
never manage, because we can't see him, and so can't point him out 
to the people." 

They sighed; then one said: "We must bring Sherlock Holmes. 
He can be here in twelve days." 

They all agreed, and whispered and jibbered with joy. But my 
heart broke; for I had read about that man, and knew what it would 
be to have him upon my track, with his superhuman penetration 
and tireless energies. 

The spirits went away to fetch him, and I got up at once in the 
middle of the night and fled away, carrying nothing but the hand- 
bag that had my money in it thirty thousand dollars; two-thirds 


of it are in the bag there yet. It was forty days before that man 
caught up on my track. I just escaped. From habit he had written 
his real name on a tavern register, but had scratched it out and writ- 
ten Dagget Barclay in the place of it. But fear gives you a watchful 
eye and keen, and I read the true name through the scratches, and 
fled like a deer. 

He has hunted me all over this world for three years and a half 
the Pacific states, Australasia, India everywhere you can think of; 
then back to Mexico and up to California again, giving me hardly 
any rest; but that name on the registers always saved me, and what 
is left of me is alive yet. And I am so tired! A cruel time he has given 
me, yet I give you my honor I have never harmed him nor any man. 

That was the end of the story, and it stirred those boys to blood 
heat, be sure of it. As for me each word burnt a hole in me where 
it struck. 

We voted that the old man should bunk with us, and be my guest 
and Hillyer's. I shall keep my own counsel, naturally; but as soon 
as he is well rested and nourished, I shall take him to Denver and 
rehabilitate his fortunes. 

The boys gave the old fellow the bone-smashing goodfellowship 
handshake of the mines, and then scattered away to spread the news- 

At dawn next morning Wells-Fargo Ferguson and Ham Sand- 
wich called us softly out, and said, privately: 

"That news about the way that old stranger has been treated has 
spread all around, and the camps are up. They are piling in from 
everywhere, and are going to lynch the p'fessor. Constable Harris is 
in a dead funk, and has telephoned the sheriff. Come along!" 

We started on a run. The others were privileged to feel as they 
chose, but in my heart's privacy I hoped the sheriff would arrive in 
time; for I had small desire that Sherlock Holmes should hang for 
my deeds, as you can easily believe. I had heard a good deal about 
the sheriff, but for reassurance's sake I asked: 

"Can he stop a mob?" 

"Can he stop a mob! Can Jack Fairfax stop a mob! Well, I should 
smile! Ex-desperado nineteen scalps on his string. Can he! Oh, 


As we tore up the gulch, distant cries and shouts and yells rose 
faintly on the still air, and grew steadily in strength as we raced 
along. Roar after roar burst out, stronger and stronger, nearer and 
nearer; and at last, when we closed up upon the multitude massed 


in the open area in front of the tavern, the crash of sound was deaf- 
ening. Some brutal roughs from Daly's gorge had Holmes in their 
grip, and he was calmest man there; a contemptuous smile played 
about his lips, and if any fear of death was in his British heart, his 
iron personality was master of it and no sign of it was allowed to 

"Come to a vote, men!" This from one of the Daly gang, Shad- 
belly Higgins. "Quick! Is it hang, or shoot?" 

"Neither!" shouted one of his comrades. "He'd be alive again in 
a week; burning's the only permanency for him." 

The gangs from all the outlying camps burst out in a thunder 
crash of approval, and went struggling and surging toward the 
prisoner, and closed about him, shouting, "Fire! Fire's the ticket!" 
They dragged him to the horse post, backed him against it, chained 
him to it, and piled wood and pine cones around him waist-deep. 
Still the strong face did not blench, and still the scornful smile played 
about the thin lips. 

"A match! Fetch a match!" 

Shadbelly struck it, shaded it with his hand, stooped, and held it 
under a pine cone. A deep silence fell upon the mob. The cone 
caught, a tiny flame flickered about it a moment or two. I seemed 
to catch the sound of distant hoofs it grew more distinct still 
more and more distinct, more and more definite, but the absorbed 
crowd did not appear to notice it. The match went out. The man 
struck another, stooped, and again the flame rose; this time it took 
hold and began to spread here and there men turned away their 
faces. The executioner stood with the charred match in his fingers, 
watching his work. The hoof-beats turned a projecting crag, and now 
they came thundering down upon us. Almost the next moment there 
was a shout: 

"The sheriff!" 

And straightway he came tearing into the midst, stood his horse 
almost on his hind feet, and said: 

"Fall back, you gutter-snipes!" 

He was obeyed. By all but the leader. He stood his ground, and 
his hand went to his revolver. The sheriff covered him promptly, 
and said: 

"Drop your hand, you parlor desperado. Kick the fire away. Now 
unchain the stranger." 

The parlor desperado obeyed. Then the sheriff made a speech; sit- 
ting his horse at martial ease, and not warming his words with any 


touch of fire, but delivering them in a measured and deliberate way, 
and in a tone which harmonized with their character and made them 
impressively disrespectful. 

"You're a nice lot now ain't you? Just about eligible to travel 
with this bilk here Shadbelly Higgins this loud-mouthed sneak 
that shoots people in the back and calls himself a desperado. ^ If 
there's anything I do particularly despise, it's a lynching mob; I've 
never seen one that had a man in it. It has to tally up a hundred 
against one before it can pump up pluck enough to tackle a sick 
tailor. It's made up of cowards, and so is the community that breeds 
it; and ninety-nine times out of a hundred the sheriff's another one." 
He paused apparently to turn that last idea over in his mind and 
taste the juice of it then he went on: "The sheriff that lets a mob 
take a prisoner away from him is the lowest-down coward there is. 
By the statistics there was a hundred and eighty-two of them draw- 
ing sneak pay in America last year. By the way it's going, pretty soon 
there'll be a new disease in the doctor-books sheriff complaint!" 
That idea pleased him anyone could see it. "People will say, 
'Sheriff sick again?' 'Yes; got the same old thing.' And next there'll 
be a new title. People won't say, 'He's running for sheriff of Rapaho 
County,' for instance; they'll say, 'He's running for Coward of 
Rapaho.' Lord, the idea of a grown-up person being afraid of a lynch 


He turned an" eye on the captive, and said, "Stranger, who are you, 

and what have you been doing?" 

"My name is Sherlock Holmes, and I have not been doing any- 

It was wonderful, the impression which the sound of that name 
made on the sheriff, notwithstanding he must have come posted. 
He spoke up with feeling, and said it was a blot on the country that 
a man whose marvelous exploits had filled the world with their fame 
and their ingenuity, and whose histories of them had won every 
reader's heart by the brilliancy and charm of their literary setting, 
should be visited under the Stars and Stripes by an outrage like this. 
He apologized in the name of the whole nation, and made Holmes 
a most handsome bow, and told Constable Harris to see him to his 
quarters, and hold himself personally responsible if he was molested 
again. Then he turned to the mob and said: 

"Hunt your holes, you scum!" which they did; then he said: "Fol- 
low me, Shadbelly; I'll take care of your case myself. No keep 
your pop-gun; whenever I see the day that I'll be afraid to have 
you behind me with that thing, it'll be time for me to join last year's 


hundred and eighty-two"; and he rode off in a walk, Shadbelly fol- 

When we were on our way back to our cabin, toward breakfast 
time, we ran upon the news that Fetlock Jones had escaped from 
his lockup in the night and is gone! Nobody is sorry. Let his uncle 
track him out if he likes; it is in his line; the camp is not interested. 

Ten days later: 

"James Walker" is all right in body now, and his mind shows im- 
provement too. I start with him for Denver tomorrow morning. 


As we were starting, this morning, Hillyer whispered to me: 
"Keep this news from Walker until you think it safe and not likely 
to disturb his mind and check his improvement: the ancient crime 
he spoke of was really committed and by his cousin, as he said. 
We buried the real criminal the other day the unhappiest man 
that has lived in a century Flint Buckner. His real name was 
Jacob Fuller!" There, Mother, by help of me, an unwitting mourner, 
your husband and my father is in his grave. Let him rest. 



Bret Harte' s famous burlesque, from CONDENSED NOVELS: Second 
Series (London, Chatto & Windus, 1902; Boston, Houghton, 
Mifflin, 1902), is one of the most devastating parodies ever per- 
petrated on The Great Man. Consider the opening two sen- 
tences: "/ found HemlocJ^ Jones in the old Broo^ Street lodg- 
ings, musing before the fire. With the freedom of an old friend 
I at once threw myself in my usual familiar attitude at his feet, 
and gently caressed his boot." 

Bret Harte was a shrewd parodist. He was not content with 
mere exaggeration. He backboned his satire with a novel plot- 
idea. For in this tale Hemloc\ Jones, The Great Detective, w 
himself the victim of a crime! Yes, "The Terror of Peculators" 
has himself been robbed! 

But trust Hemloc\ to avenge his humiliated honor. Fear- 
lessly HemlocV takes the matter in his own hands and, as the 
narrator points out so irrefutably, "Where could you find bet- 
ter?" After all, Hemloc\ Jones represents the "absolute con- 
catenation of inductive and deductive ratiocination" 

The Editors wish to call your attention to a critical facet of 
this parody which, so far as your Editors know, has never before 
been exposed. It will come as a great shoc{ to some of you. In 
7926 Agatha Christie created a furore, among addicts and 
dabblers ali\e, when she unmasked the murderer of Roger 
Ac\royd as the most least-lively of all least-lively suspects. But 
Bret Harte, through the "superhuman insight" of Hemloc\ 
Jones, anticipated Miss Christie's exact device by no less than 
twenty-four years! 

There are differences and discrepancies, of course, but in the 
spirit of good fun your Editors are prepared to defend the basic 
accuracy of this "revelation." 



FOUND HEMLOCK JONES in the old Brook Street lodgings, musing 
before the fire. With the freedom of an old friend I at once threw 
myself in my usual familiar attitude at his feet, and gently caressed 
his boot. I was induced to do this for two reasons : one, that it enabled 
me to get a good look at his bent, concentrated face, and the other, 
that it seemed to indicate my reverence for his superhuman insight. 
So absorbed was he even then, in tracking some mysterious clue, 
that he did not seem to notice me. But therein I was wrong as I 
always was in my attempt to understand that powerful intellect. 

"It is raining," he said, without lifting his head. 

"You have been out, then?" I said quickly. 

"No. But I see that your umbrella is wet, and that your overcoat 
has drops of water on it." 

I sat aghast at his penetration. After a pause he said carelessly, as 
if dismissing the subject: "Besides, I hear the rain on the window. 

I listened. I could scarcely credit my ears, but there was the soft 
pattering of drops on the panes. It was evident there was no deceiving 
this man! 

"Have you been busy lately?" I asked, changing the subject. "What 
new problem given up by Scotland Yard as inscrutable has oc- 
cupied that gigantic intellect?" 

He drew back his foot slightly, and seemed to hesitate ere he re- 
turned it to its original position. Then he answered wearily: "Mere 
trifles nothing to speak of. The Prince Kupoli has been here to 
get my advice regarding the disappearance of certain rubies from the 
Kremlin; the Rajah of Pootibad, after vainly beheading his entire 
bodyguard, has been obliged to seek my assistance to recover a jeweled 
sword. The Grand Duchess of Pretzel-Brauntswig is desirous of 
discovering where her husband was on the night of February 14; 
and last night " he lowered his voice slightly "a lodger in this 
very house, meeting me on the stairs, wanted to know why they 
didn't answer his bell." 

I could not help smiling until I saw a frown gathering on his 
inscrutable forehead. 

"Pray remember," he said coldly, "that it was through just such an 


apparently trivial question that I found out Why Paul Ferroll Killed 
His Wife, and What Happened to Jones!" 

I became dumb at once. He paused for a moment, and then sud- 
denly changing back to his usual pitiless, analytical style, he said: 
"When I say these are trifles, they are so in comparison to an affair 
that is now before me. A crime has been committed and, singularly 
enough, against myself. You start," he said. "You wonder who would 
have dared to attempt it. So did I; nevertheless, it has been done. / 
have been robbed!" 

"You robbed! You, Hemlock Jones, the Terror of Peculators!" 
I gasped in amazement, arising and gripping the table as I faced him. 

"Yes! Listen. I would confess it to no other. But you who have fol- 
lowed my career, who know my methods; you, for whom I have 
partly lifted the veil that conceals my plans from ordinary humanity 
you, who have for years rapturously accepted my confidences, 
passionately admired my inductions and inferences, placed yourself 
at my beck and call, become my slave, groveled at my feet, given up 
your practice except those few unremunerative and rapidly decreasing 
patients to whom, in moments of abstraction over my problems, you 
have administered strychnine for quinine and arsenic for Epsom 
salts; you, who have sacrificed anything and everybody to me you 
I make my confidant!" 

I arose and embraced him warmly, yet he was already so engrossed 
in thought that at the same moment he mechanically placed his 
hand upon his watch chain as if to consult the time. "Sit down," 
he said. "Have a cigar?" 

"I have given up cigar smoking," I said. 

"Why?" he asked. 

I hesitated, and perhaps colored. I had really given it up because, 
with my diminished practice, it was too expensive. I could afford 
only a pipe. "I prefer a pipe," I said laughingly. "But tell me of this 
robbery. What have you lost?" 

He arose, and planting himself before the fire with his hands under 
his coat-tails, looked down upon me reflectively for a moment. "Do 
you remember the cigar case presented to me by the Turkish ambas- 
sador for discovering the missing favorite of the Grand Vizier in 
the fifth chorus girl at the Hilarity Theater ? It was that one. I mean 
the cigar case. It was incrusted with diamonds." 


"And the largest one had been supplanted by paste," I said. 

"Ah," he said, with a reflective smile, "you know that?" 

"You told me yourself. I remember considering it a proof of your 
extraordinary perception. But, by Jove, you don't mean to say you 
have lost it?" 

He was silent for a moment. "No: it has been stolen, it is true, but 
I shall still find it. And by myself alone! In your profession, my dear 
fellow, when a member is seriously ill, he does not prescribe for him- 
self, but calls in a brother doctor. Therein we differ. I shall take this 
matter in my own hands." 

"And where could you find better?" I said enthusiastically. "I 
should say the cigar case is as good as recovered already." 

"I shall remind you of that again," he said lightly. "And now, to 
show you my confidence in your judgment, in spite of my determina- 
tion to pursue this alone, I am willing to listen to any suggestions from 

He drew a memorandum book from his pocket and, with a grave 
smile, took up his pencil. 

I could scarcely believe my senses. He, the great Hemlock Jones, 
accepting suggestions from a humble individual like myself! I kissed 
his hand reverently, and began in a joyous tone: 

"First, I should advertise, offering a reward; I should give the 
same intimation in handbills, distributed at the 'pubs' and the pastry 
cooks'. I should next visit the different pawnbrokers; I should give 
notice at the police station. I should examine the servants. I should 
thoroughly search the house and my own pockets. I speak relatively," 
I added, with a laugh. "Of course I mean your own." 

He gravely made an entry of these details. 

"Perhaps," I added, "you have already done this?" 

"Perhaps," he returned enigmatically. "Now, my dear friend," 
he continued, putting the notebook in his pocket and rising, "would 
you excuse me for a few moments ? Make yourself perfectly at home 
until I return; there may be some things," he added with a sweep of 
his hand toward his heterogeneously filled shelves, "that may interest 
you and while away the time. There are pipes and tobacco in that 

Then nodding to me with the same inscrutable face he left the 
room. I was too well accustomed to his methods to think much of 


his unceremonious withdrawal, and made no doubt he was off to 
investigate some clue which had suddenly occurred to his active intel- 

Left to myself I cast a cursory glance over his shelves. There were 
a number of small glass jars containing earthy substances, labeled 
PAVEMENT AND ROAD SWEEPINGS, from the principal thoroughfares and 
suburbs of London, with the subdirections FOR IDENTIFYING FOOT 
TRACKS. There were several other jars, labeled FLUFF FROM OMNIBUS 
FLOOR OF PALACE THEATRE, Row A, i TO 50. Everywhere were evi- 
dences of this wonderful man's system and perspicacity. 

I was thus engaged when I heard the slight creaking of a door, and 
I looked up as a stranger entered. He was a rough-looking man, with 
a shabby overcoat and a still more disreputable muffler around his 
throat and the lower part of his face. Considerably annoyed at his 
intrusion, I turned upon him rather sharply, when, with a mumbled, 
growling apology for mistaking the room, he shuffled out again and 
closed the door. I followed him quickly to the landing and saw that 
he disappeared down the stairs. With my mind full of the robbery, 
the incident made a singular impression upon me. I knew my friend's 
habit of hasty absences from his room in his moments of deep inspira- 
tion; it was only too probable that, with his powerful intellect and 
magnificent perceptive genius concentrated on one subject, he should 
be careless of his own belongings, and no doubt even forget to take 
the ordinary precaution of locking up his drawers. I tried one or 
two and found that I was right, although for some reason I was un- 
able to open one to its fullest extent. The handles were sticky, as if 
someone had opened it with dirty fingers. Knowing Hemlock's 
fastidious cleanliness, I resolved to inform him of this circumstance, 
but I forgot it, alas! until but I am anticipating my story. 

His absence was strangely prolonged. I at last seated myself by 
the fire and, lulled by warmth and the patter of the rain, fell asleep. 
I may have dreamt, for during my sleep I had a vague semiconscious- 
ness as of hands being softly pressed on my pockets -no doubt in- 
duced by the story of the robbery. When I came fully to my senses, 
I found Hemlock Jones sitting on the other side of the hearth, his 
deeply concentrated gaze fixed on the fire. 


-I found you so comfortably asleep that I could not bear to awaken 
y^^'^t news?" I asked. "How have you 
than I expected," he sa,d, "and I think," he added, tapping 


hoe to the cuff his deft fingers. "Come agam soon! he said, 

ally; "I only ask ten 


'iT'is indeed," he said, with his impenetrable smile, 
a TmbourTne. Of course to others the disguise was perfect, although 


the disguise of a broken-down artisan, looking into the window of an 
adjacent pawnshop. I was delighted to see that he was evidendy fol- 
lowing my suggestions, and in my joy I ventured to tip him a wink; 
it was abstractedly returned. 

Two days later I received a note appointing a meeting at his 
lodgings that night. That meeting, alas! was the one memorable oc- 
currence of my life, and the last meeting I ever had with Hemlock 
Jones! I will try to set it down calmly, though my pulses still throb 
with the recollection of it. 

I found him standing before the fire, with that look upon his face 
which I had seen only once or twice a look which I may call an 
absolute concatenation of inductive and deductive ratiocination 
from which all that was human, tender, or sympathetic was absolutely 
discharged. He was simply an icy algebraic symbol! 

After I had entered he locked the doors, fastened the window, and 
even placed a chair before the chimney. As I watched these significant 
precautions with absorbing interest, he suddenly drew a revolver 
and, presenting it to my temple, said in low, icy tones: 

"Hand over that cigar case!" 

Even in my bewilderment my reply was truthful, spontaneous, 
and involuntary. "I haven't got it," I said. 

Pie smiled bitterly, and threw down his revolver. "I expected that 
reply! Then let me now confront you with something more awful, 
more deadly, more relentless and convincing than that mere lethal 
weapon the damning inductive and deductive proofs of your 
guilt!" He drew from his pocket a roll of paper and a notebook. 

"But surely," I gasped, "you are joking! You could not believe " 

"Silence! Sit down!" 

I obeyed. 

"You have condemned yourself," he went on pitilessly. "Con- 
demned yourself on my processes processes familiar to you, ap- 
plauded by you, accepted by you for years! We will go back to the 
time when you first saw the cigar case. Your expressions," he said 
in cold, deliberate tones, consulting his paper, "were, 'How beautiful! 
I wish it were mine.' This was your first step in crime and my 
ilrst indication. From 'I wish it were mine' to 'I will have it mine.' 
and the mere detail, 'How can I make it mine?' the advance was 
obvious. Silence! But as in my methods it was necessary that there 


should be an overwhelming inducement to the crime, that unholy 
admiration o yours for the mere trinket itself was not enough. 1 
are a smoker of cigars." . 

"But," I burst out passionately, "I told you I had given up smoking 


C1 ^Fool!" he said coldly. "That is the second time you have com- 
mitted yourself. Of course you told me! What more natural than for 
you to blazon forth that prepared and unsolicited statement to 
prevent accusation. Yet, as I said before, even that wretched attempt 
to cover up your tracks was not enough. I still had to find that over- 
whelming, impelling motive necessary to affect a man like you. That 
motive I found in the strongest of all impulses - love, I suppose you 
would call it-" he added bitterly- "that night you called! 
had brought the most conclusive proofs of it on your sleeve. 
"But " I almost screamed. 

"Silence!" he thundered. "I know what you would say. You woulc 
say that even if you had embraced some Young Person in a sealskin 
coat what had that to do with the robbery? Let me tell you then, 
that that sealskin coat represented the quality and character of your 
fatal entanglement! You bartered your honor for it -that stolen 
cigar case was the purchaser of the sealskin coat! 
' ''Silence! Having thoroughly established your motive I now 
proceed to the commission of the crime itself. Ordinary people would 
have begun with that- with an attempt to discover the whereabouts 
of the missing object. These are not my methods " 

So overpowering was his penetration that, although I knew mysel 
innocent, I licked my lips with avidity to hear the further details c 
this lucid exposition of my crime. 

"You committed that theft the night I showed you the cigar case, 
and after I had carelessly thrown it in that drawer You were sitting 
in that chair, and I had arisen to take something from that shelf, 
that instant you secured your booty without rising. Silence! Do you 
remember when I helped you on with your overcoat the other mght^ 
I was particular about fitting your arm in. While doing so I measured 
your arm with a spring tape measure, from the shoulder to the cuff. 
A later visit to your tailor confirmed that measurement. It prove, 
to be the exact distance between your chair and that drawer! 


"The rest are mere corroborative details! You were again tampering 
with the drawer when I discovered you doing so! Do not start! The 
stranger that blundered into the room with a muffler on was 
myself! More, I had placed a little soap on the drawer handles when 
I purposely left you alone. The soap was on your hand when I shook 
it at parting. I softly felt your pockets, when you were asleep, for 
further developments. I embraced you when you left that I might 
feel if you had the cigar case or any other articles hidden on your 
body. This confirmed me in the belief that you had already disposed 
of it in the manner and for the purpose I have shown you. As I 
still believed you capable of remorse and confession, I twice allowed 
you to see I was on your track: once in the garb of an itinerant Negro 
minstrel, and the second time as a workman looking in the window 
of the pawnshop where you pledged your booty. 

"But," I burst out, "if you had asked the pawnbroker, you would 
have seen how unjust " 

"Fool!" he hissed. "Do you suppose I followed any of your sug- 
gestions, the suggestions of the thief ? On the contrary, they told me 
what to avoid." 

"And I suppose," I said bitterly, "you have not even searched 
your drawer." 

"No," he said calmly. 

I was for the first time really vexed. I went to the nearest drawer 
and pulled it out sharply. It stuck as it had before, leaving a section 
of the drawer unopened. By working it, however, I discovered that 
it was impeded by some obstacle that had slipped to the upper part 
of the drawer, and held it firmly fast. Inserting my hand, I pulled 
out the impeding object. It was the missing cigar case! I turned to 
him with a cry of joy. 

But I was appalled at his expression. A look of contempt was now 
added to his acute, penetrating gaze. "I have been mistaken," he 
said slowly. "I had not allowed for your weakness and cowardice! 
I thought too highly of you even in your guilt! But I see now why 
you tampered with that drawer the other night. By some inexplicable 
means possibly another theft you took the cigar case out of pawn 
and, liked a whipped hound, restored it to me in this feeble, clumsy 
fashion. You thought to deceive me, Hemlock Jones! More, you 
thought to destroy my infallibility. Go! I give you your liberty. I 


shall not summon the three policemen who wait in the adjoining 
room but out of my sight forever!" 

As I stood once more dazed and petrified, he took me firmly by 
the ear and led me into the hall, closing the door behind him. This 
reopened presently, wide enough to permit him to thrust out my 
hat, overcoat, umbrella, and overshoes, and then closed against me 

I never saw him again. I am bound to say, however, that thereafter 
my business increased, I recovered much of my old practice, and a 
few of my patients recovered also. I became rich. I had a brougham 
and a house in the West End. But I often wondered, if, in some lapse 
of consciousness, I had not really stolen his cigar case! 

Detective : SHAMROCK JOLNES Narrator : WHATSUP 


by O. HENRY 

O. Henry wrote two waggish parodies of SherlocJ^ Holmes 
"The Sleuths" and "The Adventures of ShamrocJ^ Jolnes" 
both to be found in SIXES AND SEVENS (Garden City, Doubleday, 
Page, /p//). The great ShamrocJ^ appeared briefly in a third 
story, "The Detective Detector" in WAIFS AND STRAYS (Garden 
City, Doubleday, Page, 1917), but this tale was a parody of The 
Master Criminal rather than of The Master Detective. 

Your Editors have chosen "The Adventures of ShamrocJ^ 
Jolnes" because it presents Shamroc\ at his deductive best. In 
"The Sleuths" Jolnes shares the spotlight with worse, actually 
yields it to another detective named Juggins; and in "The 
Detective Detector" Jolnes plays second fiddle to a one-man 
Murder, Inc. named Avery Knight. Since this anthology is 
dedicated to the One and Only, with rivalry of any sort firmly 
excommunicated, we cannot permit so nondescript a pair of 
interlopers as Juggins and Knight to trespass upon the sacred 

O. Henry's invention of the name Shamrocf^ is surely an ap- 
pealing conceit. The more you thinly of it, the more it grows 
on you. But delicious as it is, it does not represent the author's 
major effort in the field of parody names. O. Henry wrote two 
other detective-story burlesques, caricaturing the famous Vidocq. 
They are included in ROLLING STONES (Garden City, Doubleday, 
Page, 1912) and the parody name for Vidocq is positively in- 
spired. It is le nom juste, the paragon of paronomasia, the ne 
plus ultra of neology in a word, Tictocq. 



^ AM so fortunate as to count Shamrock Jolnes, the great New York 
detective, among my muster of friends. Jolnes is what is called the 
"inside man" of the city detective force. He is an expert in the use 
of the typewriter, and it is his duty, whenever .there is a "murder 
mystery" to be solved, to sit at a desk telephone at Headquarters and 
take down the messages of "cranks" who phone in their confessions 
to having committed the crime. 

But on certain "off" days when confessions are coming in slowly 
and three or four newspapers have run to earth as many different 
guilty persons, Jolnes will knock about the town with me, exhibiting, 
to my great delight and instruction, his marvelous powers of ob- 
servation and deduction. 

The other day I dropped in at Headquarters and found the great 
detective gazing thoughtfully at a string that was tied tightly around 

his little finger. 

"Good morning, Whatsup," he said, without turning his head. 
"I'm glad to notice that you've had your house fitted up with electric 

lights at last." 

"Will you please tell me," I said, in surprise, "how you knew that; 
I am sure that I never mentioned the fact to anyone^ and the wiring 
was a rush order not completed until this morning." 

"Nothing easier," said Jolnes, genially. "As you came in I caught 
the odor of the cigar you are smoking. I know an expensive cigar; 
and I know that not more than three men in New York can afford 
to smoke cigars and pay gas bills too at the present time. That was 
an easy one. But I am working just now on a little problem of my 


"Why have you that string on your finger?" I asked. 

"That's the problem," said Jolnes. "My wife tied that on this 
morning to remind me of something I was to send up to the house. 
Sit down, Whatsup, and excuse me for a few moments." 

The distinguished detective went to a wall telephone, and stood 
with the receiver to his ear for probably ten minutes. 

"Were you listening to a confession?" I asked, when he had re- 
turned to his chair. 

"Perhaps," said Jolnes, with a smile, "it might be called something 


of the sort. To be frank with you, Whatsup, I've cut out the dope. 
I've been increasing the quantity for so long that morphine doesn't 
have much effect on me any more. I've got to have something more 
powerful. That telephone I just went to is connected with a room in 
the Waldorf where there's an author's reading in progress. Now, to 
get at the solution of this string." 

After five minutes of silent pondering, Jolnes looked at me, with 
a smile, and nodded his head. 

"Wonderful man!" I exclaimed. "Already?" 

"It is quite simple," he said, holding up his finger. "You see that 
knot ? That is to prevent my forgetting. It is, therefore, a forget-me- 
knot. A forget-me-not is a flower. It was a sack of flour that I was 
to send home!" 

"Beautiful!" I could not help crying out in admiration. 

"Suppose we go out for a ramble," suggested Jolnes. 

"There is only one case of importance on hand just now. Old man 
McCarty, one hundred and four years old, died from eating too many 
bananas. The evidence points so strongly to the Mafia that the police 
have surrounded the Second Avenue Katzenjammer Gambrinus 
Club No. 2, and the capture of the assassin is only the matter of a 
few hours. The detective force has not yet been called on for assist- 

Jolnes and I went out and up the street toward the corner, where 
we were to catch a surface car. 

Halfway up the block we met Rheingelder, an acquaintance of 
ours, who held a City Hall position. 

"Good morning, Rheingelder," said Jolnes, halting. "Nice break- 
fast that was you had this morning." 

Always on the lookout for the detective's remarkable feats of 
deduction, I saw Jolnes's eyes flash for an instant upon a long yellow 
splash on the shirt bosom and a smaller one upon the chin of Rhein- 
gelder both undoubtedly made by the yolk of an egg. 

"Oh, dot is some of your detectiveness," said Rheingelder, shaking 
all over with a smile. "Veil, I pet you trinks und cigars all round dot 
you cannot tell vot I haf eaten for breakfast." 

"Done," said Jolnes. "Sausage, pumpernickel and coffee." 

Rheingelder admitted the correctness of the surmise and paid the 
bet. When we had proceeded on our way I said to Jolnes: 


"I thought you looked at the egg spilled on his chin and shirt 


"I did," said Jolnes. "That is where I began my deduction. Rhein- 
gelder is a very economical, saving man. Yesterday eggs dropped m 
the market to twenty-eight cents per dozen. Today they are quoted 
at forty-two. Rheingelder ate eggs yesterday, and today he went 
back to his usual fare. A little thing like this isn't anything, Whatsup; 
it belongs to the primary arithmetic class." 

When we boarded the streetcar we found the seats all occupied 
principally by ladies. Jolnes and I stood on the rear platform. 

About the middle of the car there sat an elderly man with a short 
gray beard, who looked to be the typical well-dressed New Yorker. 
At successive corners other ladies climbed aboard, and soon three 
or four of them were standing over the man, clinging to straps and 
glaring meaningly at the man who occupied the coveted seat. But 
he resolutely retained his place. 

"We New Yorkers," I remarked to Jolnes, "have about lost our 
manners, as far as the exercise of them in public goes." 

"Perhaps so," said Jolnes, lightly, "but the man you evidently refer 
to happens to be a very chivalrous and courteous gentleman from 
Old Virginia. He is spending a few days in New York with his wife 
and two daughters, and he leaves for the South tonight." 

"You know him, then?" I said, in amazement. 

"I never saw him before we stepped on the car," declared the 
detective, smilingly. 

"By the gold tooth of the Witch of Endor," I cried, "if you can 
construe all that from his appearance you are dealing in nothing else 

than black art." 

"The habit of observation nothing more," said Jolnes. "If the old 
gentleman gets off the car before we do, I think I can demonstrate to 
you the accuracy of my deduction." 

Three blocks farther along the gentleman rose to leave the car. 
Jolnes addressed him at the door: 

"Pardon me, sir, but are you not Colonel Hunter, of Norfolk, 


"No, suh," was the extremely courteous answer. "My name, suh, 
is Ellison Major Winfield R. Ellison, from Fairfax County, in the 
same state. I know a good many people, suh, in Norfolk the Good- 


riches, the Tollivers, and the Crabtrees, suh, but I never had the 
pleasure of meeting yo' friend Colonel Hunter. I am happy to say, 
suh, that I am going back to Virginia tonight, after having spent a 
week in yo' city with my wife and three daughters. I shall be in 
Norfolk in about ten days, and if you will give me yo' name, suh, I 
will take pleasure in looking up Colonel Hunter and telling him that 
you inquired after him, suh." 

"Thank you," said Jolnes. "Tell him that Reynolds sent his regards, 
if you will be so kind." 

I glanced at the great New York detective and saw that a look of 
intense chagrin had come upon his clear-cut features. Failure in the 
slightest point always galled Shamrock Jolnes. 

"Did you say your three daughters?" he asked of the Virginia 

"Yes, suh, my three daughters, all as fine girls as there are in Fairfax 

County," was the answer. 
With that Major Ellison stopped the car and began to descend the 


Shamrock Jolnes clutched his arm. 

"One moment, sir--" he begged, in an urbane voice in which I 
alone detected the anxiety "am I not right in believing that one 
of the young ladies is an adopted daughter?" 

"You are, suh," admitted the major, from the ground, "but how 
the devil you knew it, suh, is mo' than I can tell." 

"And mo' than I can tell, too," I said, as the car went on. 

Jolnes was restored to his calm, observant serenity by having 
wrested victory from his apparent failure; so after we got off the car 
he invited me into a cafe, promising to reveal the process of his latest 
wonderful feat. 

"In the first place," he began after we were comfortably seated, " 
knew the gentleman was no New Yorker because he was flushed 
and uneasy and restless on account of the ladies that were standing, 
although he did not rise and give them his seat. I decided from his 
appearance that he was a Southerner rather than a Westerner. 

"Next I began to figure out his reason for not relinquishing his 
seat to a lady when he evidently felt strongly, but not overpoweringly, 
impelled to do so. I very quickly decided upon that. I noticed that 
one of his eyes had received a severe jab in one corner, which was 


red and inflamed, and that all over his face were tiny round marks 
about the size of the end of an uncut lead pencil. Also upon both 
of his patent-leather shoes were a number of deep imprints shaped 
like ovals cut oft square at one end. 

"Now, there is only one district in New York City where a man 
is bound to receive scars and wounds and indentations of that sort 
and that is along the sidewalks of Twenty-third Street and a 
portion of Sixth Avenue south of there. I knew from the imprints 
of trampling French heels on his feet and the marks of countless 
jabs in the face from umbrellas and parasols carried by women in 
the shopping district that he had been in conflict with the Amazonian 
troops. And as he was a man of intelligent appearance, I knew he 
would not have braved such dangers unless he had been dragged 
thither by his own womenfolk. Therefore, when he got on the car 
his anger at the treatment he had received was sufficient to make him 
keep his seat in spite of his traditions of Southern chivalry." 

"That is all very well," I said, "but why did you insist upon daugh- 
ters and especially two daughters? Why couldn't a wife alone 
have taken him shopping?" 

"There had to be daughters," said Jolnes, calmly. "If he had only 
a wife, and she near his own age, he could have bluffed her into going 
alone. If he had a young wife she would prefer to go alone. So there 
you are." 

"I'll admit that," I said; "but, now, why two daughters? And 
how, in the name of all the prophets, did you guess that one was 
adopted when he told you he had three?" 

"Don't say guess," said Jolnes, with a touch of pride in his air; 
"there is no such word in the lexicon of ratiocination. In Major El- 
lison's buttonhole there was a carnation and a rosebud backed by a 
geranium leaf. No woman ever combined a carnation and a rosebud 
into a boutonniere. Close your eyes, Whatsup, and give the logic of 
your imagination a chance. Cannot you see the lovely Adele fastening 
the carnation to the lapel so that Papa may be gay upon the street? 
And then the romping Edith May dancing up with sisterly jealousy 
to add her rosebud to the adornment?" 

"And then," I cried, beginning to feel enthusiasm, "when he de- 
clared that he had three daughters " 


"I could see," said Jolnes, "one in the background who added no 
flower; and I knew that she must be " 

"Adopted!" I broke in. "I give you every credit; but how did you 
know he was leaving for the South tonight?" 

"In his breast pocket," said the great detective, "something large 
and oval made a protuberance. Good liquor is scarce on trains, and 
it is a long journey from New York to Fairfax County." 

"Again I must bow to you," I said. "And tell me this, so that my 
last shred of doubt will be cleared away; why did you decide that 
he was from Virginia?" 

"It was very faint, I admit," answered Shamrock Jolnes, "but no 
trained observer could have failed to detect the odor of mint in the 



"That Extraordinary Man." 

Detective: PICKLOCK HOLES Narrator: POTSON 


This early parody appeared first in "Punch," issue of Novem- 
ber 4, 1893. It was one of a series of eight published in boo\ 
form under the title THE ADVENTURES OF PICKLOCK HOLES (Lon- 
don, Bradbury, Agnew, zpo/). 

We have decided to include one of R. C. Lehmann's series 
for no less than jour reasons: [i] the boo{, THE ADVENTURES OF 
PICKLOCK HOLES, is unusually scarce so scarce that Vincent 
Starrett could find no copy until your Editors, after many years 
of hunting, located a duplicate copy and presented it to an elated 
Mr. Starrett; [2] when the Pic{loc{ Holes adventures appeared 
in "Punch" they were signed as by "Cunnin Toil" -a pun of 
the name Conan Doyle that is much cleverer than seems on 
first reading; [j] the parody name of Pickloc^ Holes is surely 
one of the most imaginative distortions ever invented; and [4] 
Mr. Lehmann offers a candid and singularly convincing ex- 
planation for Pic\loc\ Holes 's "infallibility" as a great detec- 
t i ve _ an explanation that has as curious a note of realism as 
ever crept into the last paragraph of a burlesque. 


URING one of my short summer holidays I happened to be 

spending a few days at the delightful riverside residence of my friend 
James Silver, the extent of whose hospitality is only to be measured 
by the excellence of the fare that he sets before his guests, or by the 
varied amusements that he provides for them. The beauties of Um- 
brosa (for that is the attractive name of his house) are known to all 
those who during the summer months pass up (or down) the wind- 
ing reaches of the Upper Thames. It was there that I witnessed a 


series of startling events which threw the whole county into a tem- 
porary turmoil. Had it not been for the unparalleled coolness and 
sagacity of Picklock Holes the results might have been fraught with 
disaster to many distinguished families, but the acumen of Holes 
saved the situation and the family plate, and restored .the peace of 
mind of one of the best fellows in the world. 

The party at Umbrosa consisted of the various members of the 
Silver family, including, besides Mr. and Mrs. Silver, three high- 
spirited and unmarried youths and two charming girls. Picklock 
Holes was of course one of the guests. In fact, it had long since come 
to be an understood thing that wherever I went Holes should ac- 
company me in the character of a professional detective on the look- 
out for business; and James Silver, though he may have at first re- 
sented the calm unmuscularity of my marvellous friend's immovable 
face, would have been the last man in the world to spoil any chance 
of sport or excitement by refraining from offering a cordial invitation 
to Holes. The party was completed by Peter Bowman, a lad of 
eighteen, who to an extraordinary capacity for mischief added an 
imperturbable cheerfulness of manner. He was generally known as 
Shockheaded Peter, in allusion to the brush-like appearance of his 
delicate auburn hair, but his intimate friends sometimes addressed 
him as Venus, a nickname which he thoroughly deserved by the al- 
most classic irregularity of his Saxon features. 

We were all sitting, I remember, on the riverbank, watching the 
countless craft go past, and enjoying that pleasant industrious in- 
dolence which is one of the chief charms of life on the Thames. A 
punt had just skimmed by, propelled by an athletic young fellow in 
boating costume. Suddenly Holes spoke. 

"It is strange," he said, "that the man should be still at large." 

"What man? Where? How?" we all exclaimed breathlessly. 

"The young puntsman," said Holes, with an almost aggravating 
coolness. "He is a bigamist, and has murdered his great aunt." 

"It cannot be," said Mr. Silver, with evident distress. "I know the 
lad well, and a better fellow never breathed." 

"I speak the truth," said Holes, unemotionally. "The induction is 
perfect. He is wearing a red tie. That tie was not always red. It was, 
therefore, stained by something. Blood is red. It was, therefore, stained 
by blood. Now it is well known that the blood of great aunts is of a 


lighter shade, and the colour of that tie has a lighter shade. The 
blood that stained it was, therefore, the blood of his great aunt. As 
for the bigamy, you will have noticed that as he passed he blew two 
rings of cigarette smoke, and they both floated in the air at the same 
time. A ring is a symbol of matrimony. Two rings together mean 
bigamy. He is, therefore, a bigamist." 

For a moment we were silent, struck with horror at this dreadful, 
this convincing revelation of criminal infamy. Then I broke out : 

"Holes," I said, "you deserve the thanks of the whole community. 
You will of course communicate with the police." 

"No," said Holes, "they are fools, and I do not care to mix myself 
up with them. Besides, I have other fish to fry." 

Saying this, he led me to a secluded part of the grounds, and 
whispered in my ear. 

"Not a word of what I am about to tell you. There will be a burglary 

here to-night." 

"But Holes," I said, startled in spite of myself at the calm om- 
niscience of my friend, "had we not better do something; arm the 
servants, warn the police, bolt the doors and bar the windows, and 
sit up with blunderbusses anything would be better than this state 
of dreadful expectancy. May I not tell Mr. Silver?" 

"Potson, you are amiable, but you will never learn my methods." 
And with that enigmatic reply I had to be content in the meantime. 

The evening had passed as pleasantly as evenings at Umbrosa al- 
ways pass. There had been music; the Umbrosa choir, composed of 
members of the family and guests, had performed in the drawing- 
room, and Peter had drawn tears from the eyes of every one by his 
touching rendering of the well-known songs of "The Dutiful Son" 
and "The Cartridge-bearer." Shortly afterwards, the ladies retired to 
bed, and the gentlemen, after the customary interval in the smoking- 
room, followed. We were in high good-humour, and had made many 
plans for the morrow. Only Holes seemed preoccupied. 

I had been sleeping for about an hour, when I was suddenly 
awakened with a start. In the passage outside I heard the voices of 
the youngest Silver boy and of Peter. 

"Peter, old chap," said Johnny Silver, "I believe there's burglars in 
the house. Isn't it a lark?" 

"Ripping," said Peter. "Have you told your people?" 


"Oh, it's no use waking the governor and the mater; we'll do the 
job ourselves. I told the girls, and they've all locked themselves in 
and got under their beds, so they're safe. Are you ready?" 


"Come on then." 

With that they went along the passage and down the stairs. My 
mind was made up, and my trousers and boots were on in less time 
than it takes to tell it. I went to Holes's room and entered. He was 
lying on his bed, fully awake, dressed in his best detective suit, with 
his fingers meditatively extended, and touching one another. 

"They're here," I said. 


"The burglars." 

"As I thought," said Holes, selecting his best basket-hiked life- 
preserver from a heap in the middle of the room. "Follow me si- 

I did so. No sooner had we reached the landing, however, than 
the silence was broken by a series of blood-curdling screams. 

"Good heavens!" was all I could say. 

"Hush," said Holes. I obeyed him. The screams subsided, and I 
heard the voices of my two young friends, evidently in great triumph. 

"Lie still, you brute," said Peter, "or I'll punch your blooming 
head. Give the rope another twist, Johnny. That's it. Now you cut 
and tell your governor and old Holes that we've nabbed the beggar." 

By this time the household was thoroughly roused. Agitated fe- 
males and inquisitive males streamed downstairs. Lights were lit, 
and a remarkable sight met our eyes. In the middle of the drawing- 
room lay an undersized burglar, securely bound, with Peter sitting 

on his head. 

"Johnny and I collared the beggar," said Peter, "and bowled him 
over. Thanks, I think I could do a ginger-beer." 

The man was of course tried and convicted, and Holes received 
the thanks of the County Council. 

"That fellow," said the great detective to me, "was the best and 
cleverest of my tame team of country-house burglars. Through him 
and his associates I have fostered and foiled more thefts than I care 
to count. Those infernal boys nearly spoilt everything. Potson, take 


my advice, never attempt a master-stroke in a houseful of boys. They 
can't understand scientific induction. Had they not interfered I 
should have caught the fellow myself. He had wired to tell me 
where I should find him." 




Here is one of the earliest if not actually the earliest Amer- 
ican parodies of Sherlock. Holmes. It is really the first two 
chapters in THE PURSUIT OF THE HOUSE-BOAT (New Yorf{, Harper, 


In this parody you will meet Sherlock Holmes in Hades - 
a justifiable address when you remember that Holmes was sup- 
posed to have died in 1893, at the end of "The Adventure of 
the Final Problem" l that is, jour years prior to the publica- 
tion of Mr. Bangs' s book- How was Mr. Bangs to foresee that 
Holmes would be resurrected six years ajter he and the whole 
grief -stricken world had accepted with "heavy heart" the 
Watsoman obituary? How was Mr. Bangs to know six years 
in advance that Holmes would "return" to the pages of "The 
Strand Magazine" in October 1903, when neither Dr. Watson 
nor Conan Doyle himself had the slightest suspicion of so 

colossal an event? 

On the other hand, granting Mr. Bangs' s right to assume in 
1897 that the report of Holmes s death had not been exagger- 
ated, was Hades really a justifiable address? There are those 
who would hold out for Heaven or at the least, Valhalla . . . 

Be as it may, you will find Holmes in company with other 
great and glittering personages The Associated Shades, 
[Ltd.], including Sir Walter Raleigh, Socrates, Dr. Livingstone, 
Confucius, Shakespeare, Noah, Dr. Samuel Johnson and Bos- 
well, Solomon, Caesar, Napoleon, among others equally fa- 
mous, all involved in a truly "hellish" mystery. 

Mr. Bangs was one of our finest parodists. At his best he skill- 
fully blended pure burlesque with cunningly conceived plot 

i MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES; New York, Harper, 1894: London, Newnes, 1894- 


details. The Holmes saga proved a veritable bonanza to him 
and he mined it lustily. If you wish to pursue the further parody- 
adventures of Sherlock^, as recorded by John (Watson) Bangs, 
gather the following nuggets: 

"The Mystery of Pin^ham's Diamond Stud" - Chapter X 
in THE DREAMERS : A CLUB (Ne w YorJ{, Harper, 7899) 

"Sherloc^ Holmes Again" Chapter IX in THE ENCHANTED 
TYPE-WRITER (New Yor^, Harper, 1899) 

"ShylocJ^ Homes: His Posthumous Memoirs" -a series 
syndicated in US. newspapers in 1903, but never published 
in booJ{ form; see the next story in this anthology the 
first ShylocJ^ Homes memoir ever to appear between covers 

R. HOLMES & co. (New Yor^ Harper, 7906) the bur- 
lesque escapades of Mr. Raffles Holmes, the "son" of Sher- 
loc{ and the "grandson" of A.]. Raffles 2 

"A Pragmatic Enigma" -the fourth story in POTTED FIC- 
TION (New Yor^ t Doubleday, Page, 1908) 



.HE HOUSEBOAT of the Associated Shades, formerly located upon the 
River Styx, as the reader may possibly remember, had been torn 
from its moorings and navigated out into unknown seas by that 
vengeful pirate Captain Kidd, aided and abetted by some of the 
most ruffianly inhabitants of Hades. Like a thief in the night had 
they come, and for no better reason than that the captain had been 
unanimously voted a shade too shady to associate with self-respecting 
spirits had they made off with the happy floating clubhouse of their 
betters; and worst of all, with them, by force of circumstances over 
which they had no control, had sailed also the fair Queen Elizabeth, 

2 If you arc a student of literary genetics, you'll realize that this is perfectly possible. 
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, sire of Sherlock, and E. W. Hornung, progenitor of Raffles, 
were in real life brothers-in-law! Of course John Kendrick Bangs knew this vital fact 
Hornung married Doyle's sister in 1893, thirteen years before Bangs "produced" 
Raffles Holmes. The only discrepancy an amazing one, it's true is the matter of 
Raffles Holmes's age. Surely Raffles Holmes, to judge merely from the illustrations in 
the book, was more than twelve years old! 


the spirited Xanthippe, and every other strong-minded and beautiful 
woman of Erebean society, whereby the men thereof were rendered 


"I can't stand it!" cried Raleigh, desperately, as with his accustomed 
grace he presided over a special meeting of the club, called on the 
bank of the inky Stygian stream, at the point where the missing boat 
had been moored. "Think of it, gentlemen, Elizabeth of England, 
Calpurnia of Rome, Ophelia of Denmark, and every precious jewel 
in our social diadem gone, vanished completely; and with whom? 
Kidd, of all men in the universe! Kidd, the pirate, the ruffian " 
"Don't take on so, my dear Sir Walter," said Socrates, cheerfully. 
"What's the use of going into hysterics ? You are not a woman, and 
should eschew that luxury. Xanthippe is with them, and I'll warrant 
you that when that cherished spouse of mine has recovered from the 
effects of the sea, say the third day out, Kidd and his crew will be 
walking the plank, and voluntarily at that." 

"But the Houseboat itself," murmured Noah, sadly. "That was 
my delight. It reminded me in some respects of the Ark." 

"The law of compensation enters in there, my dear Commodore," 
retorted Socrates. "For me, with Xanthippe abroad I do not need a 
club to go to; I can stay at home and take my hemlock in peace and 
straight. Xanthippe always compelled me to dilute it at the rate of 
one quart of water to the finger." 

"Well, we didn't all marry Xanthippe," put in Caesar, firmly, 
"therefore we are not all satisfied with the situation. I, for one, quite 
agree with Sir Walter that something must be done, and quickly. 
Are we to sit here and do nothing, allowing that fiend to kidnap 
our wives with impunity?" 

"Not at all," interposed Bonaparte. "The time for action has ar- 
rived. All things considered he is welcome to Marie Louise, but the 
idea of Josephine going off on a cruise of that kind breaks my heart." 
"No question about it," observed Dr. Johnson. "We've got to do 
something if it is only for the sake of appearances. The question 
really is, what shall be done first?" 

"I am in favor of taking a drink as the first step, and considering 
the matter of further action afterwards," suggested Shakespeare, and 
it was this suggestion that made the members unanimous upon the 
necessity for immediate action, for when the assembled spirits called 


for their various favorite beverages it was found that there were none 
to be had, it being Sunday, and all the establishments wherein liquid 
refreshments were licensed to be sold being closed for at the time 
of writing the local government of Hades was in the hands of the 

reform party. 

"What!" cried Socrates. "Nothing but Styx water and vitriol, Sun- 
days? Then the Houseboat must be recovered whether Xanthippe 
comes with it or not. Sir Walter, I am for immediate action, after all. 
This ruffian should be captured at once and made an example of." 
"Excuse me, Socrates," put in Lindley Murray, "but, ah pray 
speak in Greek hereafter, will you, please? When you attempt Eng- 
lish you have a beastly way of working up to climactic prepositions 
which are offensive to the ear of a purist." 

"This is no time to discuss style, Murray," interposed Sir Walter. 
"Socrates may speak and spell like Chaucer if he pleases; he may 
even part his infinitives in the middle, for all I care. We have affairs 
of greater moment in hand." 

"We must ransack the earth," cried Socrates, "until we find that 
boat. I'm dry as a fish." 

"There he goes again!" growled Murray. "Dry as a fish! What 
fish I'd like to know is dry?" 

"Red herrings," retorted Socrates; and there was a great laugh at 
the expense of the purist, in which even Hamlet, who had grown 
more and more melancholy and morbid since the abduction of 
Ophelia, joined. 

"Then it is settled," said Raleigh; "something must be done. And 
now the point is, what?" 

"Relief expeditions have a way of finding things," suggested Dr. 
Livingstone. "Or rather of being found by the things they go out 
to relieve. I propose that we send out a number of them. I will take 
Africa; Bonaparte can lead an expedition into Europe; General 
Washington may have North America; and- 

"I beg pardon," put in Dr. Johnson, "but have you any idea, Dr. 
Livingstone, that Captain Kidd has put wheels on this Houseboat 
of ours and is having it dragged across the Sahara by mules or 


"No such absurd idea ever entered my head," retorted the doctor. 
"Do you then believe that he has put runners on it, and is engaged 


in the pleasurable pastime of taking the ladies tobogganing down the 

Alps?" persisted the philosopher. 

"Not at all. Why do you ask?" queried the African explorer, ir- 

"Because I wish to know," said Johnson. "That is always my mo- 
tive in asking questions. You propose to go looking for a houseboat 
in Central Africa; you suggest that Bonaparte lead an expedition in 
search of it through Europe all of which strikes me as nonsense. 
This search is the work of sea dogs, not of landlubbers. You might 
as well ask Confucius to look for it in the heart of China. What 
earthly use there is in ransacking the earth I fail to see. What we 
need is a naval expedition to scour the sea, unless it is pretty well 
understood in advance that we believe Kidd has hauled the boat out 
of the water, and is now using it for a roller-skating rink or a bicycle 
academy in Ohio, or for some other purpose for which neither he 
nor it was designed." 

"Dr. Johnson's point is well taken," said a stranger who had been 
sitting upon the stringpiece of the pier, quietly, but with very evident 
interest, listening to the discussion. He was a tall and excessively 
slender shade, "like a spirt of steam out of a teapot," as Johnson put 
it afterwards, so slight he seemed. "I have not the honor of being a 
member of this association," the stranger continued, "but, like all 
well-ordered shades, I aspire to the distinction, and I hold myself 
and my talents at the disposal of this club. I fancy it will not take us 
long to establish our initial point, which is that the gross person who 
has so foully appropriated your property to his own base uses does 
not contemplate removing it from its keel and placing it somewhere 
inland. All the evidence in hand points to a radically different con- 
clusion, which is my sole reason for doubting the value of that con- 
clusion. Captain Kidd is a seafarer by instinct, not a landsman. The 
Houseboat is not a house, but a boat; therefore the place to look 
for it is not, as Dr. Johnson so well says, in the Sahara Desert, or 
on the Alps, or in the State of Ohio, but upon the high sea, or upon 
the water front of some one of the world's great cities." 

"And what, then, would be your plan?" asked Sir Walter, im- 
pressed by the stranger's manner as well as by the very manifest 
reason in all that he had said. 
"The chartering of a suitable vessel, fully armed and equipped 


for the purpose of pursuit. Ascertain whither the Houseboat has 
sailed, for what port, and start at once. Have you a model of the 
Houseboat within reach?" returned the stranger. 
"I think not; we have the architect's plans, however," said the 


"We had, Mr. Chairman," said Demosthenes, who was secretary 
of the House Committee, rising, "but they are gone with the House- 
boat itself. They were kept in the safe in the hold." 

A look of annoyance came into the face of the stranger. 

"That's too bad," he said. "It was a most important part of my 
plan that we should know about how fast the Houseboat was." 

"Humph!" ejaculated Socrates, with ill-concealed sarcasm. "If 
you'll take Xanthippe's word for it, the Houseboat was the fastest 

yacht afloat." 

"I refer to the matter of speed in sailing," returned the stranger, 
quietly. "The question of its ethical speed has nothing to do with it." 

"The designer of the craft is here," said Sir Walter, fixing his eyes 
upon Sir Christopher Wren. "It is possible that he may be of assist- 
ance in settling that point." 

"What has all this got to do with the question, anyhow, Mr. Chair- 
man?" asked Solomon, rising impatiently and addressing Sir Walter. 
"We aren't preparing for a yacht race that I know of. Nobody's after 
a cup, or a championship of any kind. What we do want is to get 
our wives back. The captain hasn't taken more than half of mine 
along with him, but I am interested none the less. The Queen o 
Sheba is on board, and I am somewhat interested in her fate. So I 
ask you what earthly or unearthly use there is in discussing this 
question of speed in the Houseboat. It strikes me as a woeful waste 
of time, and rather unprecedented too, that we should suspend all 
rules and listen to the talk of an entire stranger." 

"I do not venture to doubt the wisdom of Solomon," said Johnson, 
dryly, "but I must say that the gentleman's remarks rather interest 


"Of course they do," ejaculated Solomon. "He agreed with you. 
That ought to make him interesting to everybody. Freaks usually 


"That is not the reason at all," retorted Dr. Johnson. "Cold water 
agrees with me, but it doesn't interest me. What I do think, however, 


is that our unknown friend seems to have a grasp on the situation 
by which we are confronted, and he's going at the matter in hand 
in a very comprehensive fashion. I move, therefore, that Solomon 
be laid on the table, and that the privileges of the ah of the 
wharf be extended indefinitely to our friend on the . stringpiece." 
The motion, having been seconded, was duly carried, and the 

stranger resumed. 

"I will explain for the benefit of his Majesty King Solomon, whose 
wisdom I have always admired, and whose endurance as the husband 
of three hundred wives has filled me with wonder," he said, "that 
before starting in pursuit of the stolen vessel we must select a craft 
of some sort for the purpose, and that in selecting the pursuer it is 
quite essential that we should choose a vessel of greater speed than 
the one we desire to overtake. It would hardly be proper, I think, 
if the Houseboat can sail four knots an hour, to attempt to overhaul 
her with a launch, or other nautical craft, with a maximum speed 
of two knots an hour." 

"Hear! Hear!" ejaculated Caesar. 

"That is my reason, your Majesty, for inquiring as to the speed 
of your late clubhouse," said the stranger, bowing courteously to 
Solomon. "Now if Sir Christopher Wren can give me her measure- 
ments, we can very soon determine at about what rate she is leaving 
us behind under favorable circumstances." 

" Tisn't necessary for Sir Christopher to do anything of the sort," 
said Noah, rising and manifesting somewhat more heat than the 
occasion seemed to require. "As long as we are discussing the ques- 
tion I will take the liberty of stating what I have never mentioned 
before, that the designer of the Houseboat merely appropriated the 
lines of the Ark. Shem, Ham, and Japheth will bear testimony to 
the truth of that statement." 

"There can be no quarrel on that score, Mr. Chairman," assented 
Sir Christopher, with cutting frigidity. "I am perfectly willing to 
admit that practically the two vessels were built on the same lines, 
but with modifications which would enable my boat to sail twenty 
miles to windward and back in six days less time than it would 
have taken the Ark to cover the same distance, and it could have 
taken all the wash of the excursion steamers into the bargain." 
"Bosh!" ejaculated Noah, angrily. "Strip your old tub down to a 


flying balloon jib and a marline spike, and ballast the Ark with 
elephants until every inch of her reeked with ivory and peanuts, and 
she'd outfoot you on every leg, in a cyclone or a zephyr. Give me 
the Ark and a breeze, and your Houseboat wouldn't be within hail- 
ing distance of her five minutes after the start if she had forty thou- 
sand square yards of canvas spread before a gale." 

"This discussion is waxing very unprofitable," observed Confucius. 
"If these gentlemen cannot be made to confine themselves to the 
subject that is agitating this body, I move we call in the authorities 
and have them confined in the bottomless pit." 

"I did not precipitate the quarrel," said Noah. "I was merely try- 
ing to assist our friend on the stringpiece. I was going to say that 
as the Ark was probably a hundred times faster than Sir Christopher 
Wren's tub, which he himself says can take care of all the wash 
of the excursion boats, thereby becoming on his own admission a 
wash-tub " 

"Order! Order!" cried Sir Christopher. 

"I was going to say that this wash-tub could be overhauled by a 
launch or any other craft with a speed of thirty knots a month," 
continued Noah, ignoring the interruption. 

"Took him forty days to get to Mount Ararat!" sneered Sir Christo- 

"Well, your boat would have got there two weeks sooner, I'll ad- 
mit," retorted Noah, "if she'd sprung a leak at the right time." 

"Granting the truth of Noah's statement " said Sir Walter, mo- 
tioning to the angry architect to be quiet "not that we take any 
side in the issue between the two gentlemen, but merely for the 
sake of argument I wish to ask the stranger who has been good 
enough to interest himself in our trouble what he proposes to do 
how can you establish your course in case a boat were provided?" 

"Oh," laughed the stranger, "that is a simple matter. Captain Kidd 
has gone to London." 

"To London!" cried several members at once. "How do you know 

"By this," said the stranger, holding up the tiny stub end of a 

"Tut-tut!" ejaculated Solomon. "What child's play this is!" 

"No, your Majesty," observed the stranger, "it is not child's play; 

it" is fact. That cigar end was thrown aside here on the wharf by 
Captain Kidd just before he stepped on board the Houseboat. 

"How do you know that?" demanded Raleigh. "And granting the 
truth of the assertion, what does it prove?" 

"I will tell you," said the stranger. And he at once proceede 

follows. . , 

"I have made a hobby of the study of cigar ends, said the stranger 
as the Associated Shades settled back to hear his account of himself. 
"From my earliest youth, when I used surreptitiously to remove the 
unsmoked ends of my father's cigars and break them up, and in 
hiding, smoke them in an old clay pipe which I had presented to 
me by an ancient sea captain of my acquaintance, I have been inter- 
ested in tobacco in all forms, even including these self-same despised 
unsmoked ends; for they convey to my mind messages sentiments, 
farces, comedies, and tragedies which to your minds would neve: 
corne manifest through their agency." 

The company drew closer together and formed themselves in a 
more compact mass about the speaker. It was evident that they wei 
beginning to feel an unusual interest in this extraordinary person, 
who had come among them unheralded and unknown 

"Do you mean to tell us," demanded Shakespeare, "that the un- 
smoked stub of a c lg ar will suggest the story of him who smc 

to your mind?" . ,. 

"I do," replied the stranger, with a confident smile. Take 
one, for instance, that I have picked up here upon the wharf; it tells 
me the whole story of the intentions of Captain Kidd at the moment 
when, in utter disregard of your rights, he stepped aboard your 
Houseboat, and, in his usual piratical fashion, made off with i 

unknown seas." , 

"But how do you know he smoked it?" asked Solomon, who 
deemed it the part of wisdom to be suspicious of the stranger. 

"There are two curious indentations in it which prove that. . 
marks of two teeth, with a hiatus between, which you will see it 
you look closely," said the stranger, handing the small bit of tobacco 
to Sir Walter, "make that point evident beyond peradventure. I he 
Captain lost an eyetooth in one of his later raids; it was knocked 
out by a marline spike which had been hurled at him by one of the 
crew of the treasure ship he and his followers had attacked. 


adjacent teeth were broken, but hot removed. The cigar end bears 
the marks of those two jagged molars, with the hiatus, which, as I 
have indicated, is due to the destruction of the eyetooth between 
them. It is not likely that there was another man in the pirate's crew 
with teeth exactly like the commander's, therefore I say there can be 
no doubt that the cigar end was that of the Captain himself." 

"Very interesting indeed," observed Blackstone, removing his wig 
and fanning himself with it; "but I must confess, Mr. Chairman, 
that in any properly constituted law court this evidence would long 
since have been ruled out as irrelevant and absurd. The idea of two 
or three hundred dignified spirits like ourselves, gathered together 
to devise a means for the recovery of our property and the rescue of 
our wives, yielding the floor to the delivering of a lecture by an entire 
stranger on 'Cigar Ends He Has Met,' strikes me as ridiculous in 
the extreme. Of what earthly interest is it to us to know that this or 
that cigar was smoked by Captain Kidd?" 

"Merely that it will help us on, your honor, to discover the where- 
abouts of the said Kidd," interposed the stranger. "It is by trifles, 
seeming trifles, that the greatest detective work is done. My friends 
Lecoq, Hawkshaw, and Old Sleuth will bear me out in diis, I think, 
however much in other respects our methods may have differed. 
They left no stone unturned in the pursuit of a criminal; no detail, 
however trifling, uncared for. No more should we in the present 
instance overlook the minutest bit of evidence, however irrelevant 
and absurd at first blush it may appear to be. The truth of what I 
say was very effectually proven in the strange case of the Brokedale 
tiara, in which I figured somewhat conspicuously, but which I have 
never made public, because it involves a secret affecting the integrity 
of one of the noblest families in the British Empire. I really believe 
that mystery was solved easily and at once because I happened to 
remember that the number of my watch was 865076. How trivial a 
thing, and yet how important it was, as the event transpired, you 
will realize when I tell you the incident." 

The stranger's manner was so impressive that there was a unani- 
mous and simultaneous movement upon the part of all present to 
get up closer, so as the more readily to hear what he said, as a result 
of which poor old Boswell was pushed overboard, and fell with a 
loud splash into the Styx. Fortunately, however, one of Charon's 


pleasure boats was close at hand, and in a short while the dripping, 
sputtering spirit was drawn into it, wrung out, and sent home to dry. 
The excitement attending this diversion having subsided, Solomon 

asked : 

"What was the incident of the lost tiara?" 

"I am about to tell you," returned the stranger; "and it must be 
understood that you are told in the strictest confidence, for, as I say, 
the incident involves a state secret of great magnitude. In life in 
the mortal life gentlemen, I was a detective by profession, and, if 
I do say it, who perhaps should not, I was one of the most interesting 
for purely literary purposes that has ever been known. I did not find 
it necessary to go about saying 'Ha! ha!' as M. Lecoq was accustomed 
to do to advertise his cleverness; neither did I disguise myself as a 
drum-major and hide under a kitchen table for the purpose of solving 
a mystery involving the abduction of a parlor stove, after the manner 
of the talented Hawkshaw. By mental concentration alone, without 
fireworks or orchestral accompaniment of any sort whatsoever, did 
I go about my business, and for that very reason many of my fellow 
sleuths were forced to go out of real detective work into that line 
of the business with which the stage has familiarized the most of us 
a line in which nothing but stupidity, luck, and a yellow wig is 
required of him who pursues it." 

"This man is an impostor," whispered Lecoq to Hawkshaw. 

"I've known that all along by the mole on his left wrist," returned 
Hawkshaw, contemptuously. 

"I suspected it the minute I saw he was not disguised," returned 
Lecoq, knowingly. "I have observed that the greatest villains latterly 
have discarded disguises, as being too easily penetrated, and therefore 
of no avail, and merely a useless expense." 

"Silence!" cried Confucius, impatiently. "How can the gentleman 
proceed, with all this conversation going on in the rear?" 

Hawkshaw and Lecoq immediately subsided, and the stranger 

went on. 

"It was in this way that I treated the strange case of the lost tiara, 
resumed the stranger. "Mental concentration upon seemingly insig- 
nificant details alone enabled me to bring about the desired results 
in that instance. A brief outline of the case is as follows: It was late 
one evening in the early spring of 1894. The London season was at 


its height. Dances, fetes of all kinds, opera, and the theaters were 
in full blast, when all of a sudden society was paralyzed by a most 
audacious robbery. A diamond tiara valued at ^50,000 sterling had 
been stolen from the Duchess of Brokedale, and under circumstances 
which threw society itself and every individual in it under suspicion 
even his Royal Highness the Prince himself, for he had danced 
frequently with the Duchess, and was known to be a great admirer 
of her tiara. It was at half-past eleven o'clock at night that the news 
of the robbery first came to my ears. I had been spending the evening 
alone in my library making notes for a second volume of my mem- 
oirs, and, feeling somewhat depressed, I was on the point of going 
out for my usual midnight walk on Hampstead Heath, when one 
of my servants, hastily entering, informed me of the robbery. I 
changed my mind in respect to my midnight walk immediately upon 
receipt of the news, for I knew that before one o'clock someone 
would call upon me at my lodgings with reference to this robbery. 
It could not be otherwise. Any mystery of such magnitude could no 
more be taken to another bureau than elephants could fly - 

"They used to," said Adam. "I once had a whole aviary full of 
winged elephants. They flew from flower to flower, and thrusting 
their probabilities deep into " 

"Their what?" queried Johnson, with a frown. 

"Probabilities isn't that the word? Their trunks," said Adam. 

"Probosces, I imagine you mean," suggested Johnson. 

"Yes that was it. Their probosces," said Adam. "They were great 
honey gatherers, those elephants far better than the bees, because 
they could make so much more of it in a given time." 

Munchausen shook his head sadly. "I'm afraid I'm outclassed by 
these antediluvians," he said. 

"Gentlemen! Gentlemen!" cried Sir Walter. "These interruptions 

are inexcusable!" 

"That's what I think," said the stranger, with some asperity. "I'm 
having about as hard a time getting this story out as I would if it were 
a serial. Of course, if you gentlemen do not wish to hear it, I can 
stop; but it must be understood that when I do stop I stop finally, 
once and for all, because the tale has not a sufficiency of dramatic 
climaxes to warrant its prolongation over the usual magazine period 
of twelve months." 


"Go on! go on!" cried some. 

"Shut up!" cried others addressing the interrupting members, 
of course. 

"As I was saying," resumed the stranger, "I felt confident that 
within an hour, in some way or other, that case would be placed in 
my hands. It would be mine either positively or negatively that is 
to say, either the person robbed would employ me to ferret out the 
mystery and recover the diamonds, or the robber himself, actuated 
by motives of self-preservation, would endeavor to direct my en- 
ergies into other channels until he should have the time to dispose of 
his ill-gotten booty. A mental discussion of the probabilities inclined 
me to believe that the latter would be the case. I reasoned in this 
fashion: The person robbed is of exalted rank. She cannot move 
rapidly because she is so. Great bodies move slowly. It is probable 
that it will be a week before, according to the etiquette by which she is 
hedged about, she can communicate with me. In the first place, she 
must inform one of her attendants that she has been robbed. He 
must communicate the news to the functionary in charge of her 
residence, who will communicate with the Home Secretary, and 
from him will issue the orders to the police, who, baffled at every 
step, will finally address themselves to me. Til give that side two 
weeks,' I said. On the other hand, the robber: will he allow him- 
self to be lulled into a false sense of security by counting on this 
delay, or will he not, noting my habit of occasionally entering 
upon detective enterprises of this nature of my own volition, come 
to me at once and set me to work ferreting out some crime that 
has never been committed ? My feeling was that this would happen, 
and I pulled out my watch to see if it were not nearly time for him 
to arrive. The robbery had taken place at a state ball at the Bucking- 
ham Palace. 'H'm!' I mused. 'He has had an hour and forty minutes 
to get here. It is now twelve-twenty. He should be here by twelve- 
forty-five. I will wait.' And hastily swallowing a cocaine tablet to nerve 
myself up for the meeting, I sat down and began to read my Schopen- 
hauer. Hardly had I perused a page when there came a tap upon my 
door. I rose with a smile, for I thought I knew what was to happen, 
opened the door, and there stood, much to my surprise, the husband 
of the lady whose tiara was missing. It was the Duke of Brokedale 
himself. It is true he was disguised. His beard was powdered until 


it looked like snow, and he wore a wig and a pair of green goggles; 
but I recognized him at once by his lack of manners, which is an un- 
mistakable sign of nobility. As I opened the door, he began: 

"'You are Mr. ' 

" 'I am,' I replied. 'Come in. You have come to see me about your 
stolen watch. It is a gold hunting-case watch with a Swiss move- 
ment; loses five minutes a day; stem winder; and the back cover, 
which does not bear any inscription, has upon it the indentations 
made by the molars of your son Willie when that interesting youth 
was cutting his teeth upon it.' ' 

"Wonderful!" cried Johnson. 

"May I ask how you knew all that?" asked Solomon, deeply im- 
pressed. "Such penetration strikes me as marvelous." 

"I didn't know it," replied the stranger, with a smile. "What I said 
was intended to be jocular, and to put Brokedale at his ease. The 
Americans present, with their usual astuteness, would term it bluff. 
It was. I merely rattled on. I simply did not wish to offend the gentle- 
man by letting him know that I had penetrated his disguise. Imagine 
my surprise, however, when his eye brightened as I spoke, and he 
entered my room with such alacrity that half the powder which he 
thought disguised his beard was shaken off onto the floor. Sitting 
down in the chair I had just vacated, he quietly remarked: 

" 'You are a wonderful man, sir. How did you know that I had 
lost my watch?' 

"For a moment I was nonplused; more than that, I was completely 
staggered. I had expected him to say at once that he had not lost 
his watch, but had come to see me about the tiara; and to have him 
take my words seriously was entirely unexpected and overwhelmingly 
surprising. However, in view of his rank, I deemed it well to fall in 
with his humor. 'Oh, as for that,' I replied, 'that is a part of my 
business. It is the detective's place to know everything; and generally, 
if he reveals the machinery by means of which he reaches his con- 
clusions, he is a fool, since his method is his secret, and his secret his 
stock in trade. I do not mind telling you, however, that I knew your 
watch was stolen by your anxious glance at my clock, which showed 
that you wished to know the time. Now most rich Americans have 
watches for that purpose, and have no hesitation about showing 
them. If you'd had a watch, you'd have looked at it, not at my clock.' 


"My visitor laughed, and repeated what he had said about my 
being a wonderful man. 

" 'And the dents which my son made cutting his teeth?' he added. 
" 'Invariably go with an American's watch. Rubber or ivory rings 
aren't good enough for American babies to chew on,' said I. 'They 
must have gold watches or nothing.' 

" 'And finally, how did you know I was a rich American ?' he asked. 

" 'Because no other can afford to stop at hotels like the Savoy in 

the height of the season,' I replied, thinking that the jest would end 

there, and that he would now reveal his identity and speak of the tiara. 

To my surprise, however, he did nothing of the sort. 

" 'You have an almost supernatural gift,' he said. 'My name is 
Bunker. I am stopping at the Savoy. I am an American. I was rich 
when I arrived here, but I'm not quite so bloated with wealth as I 
was, now that I have paid my first week's bill. I have lost my watch; 
such a watch, too, as you describe, even to the dents. Your only 
mistake was that the dents were made by my son John, and not 
Willie; but even there I cannot but wonder at you, for John and 
Willie are twins, and so much alike that it sometimes baffles even 
their mother to tell them apart. The watch has no very great value 
intrinsically, but the associations are such that I want it back, and I 
will pay ^200 for its recovery. I have no clue as to who took it. It 
was numbered ' 

"Here a happy thought struck me. In all my description of the 
watch I had merely described my own, a very cheap affair which I 
had won at a raffle. My visitor was deceiving me, though for what 
purpose I did not on the instant divine. No one would like to suspect 
him of having purloined his wife's tiara. Why should I not deceive 
him, and at the same time get rid of my poor chronometer for a 
sum that exceeded its value a hundredfold?" 
"Good business!" cried Shy lock. 
The stranger smiled and bowed. 

"Excellent," he said. "I took the words right out of his mouth. 'It 
was numbered 865076!' I cried, giving, of course, the number of my 
own watch. 

"He gazed at me narrowly for a moment, and then he smiled. 
'You grow more marvelous at every step. That was indeed the 
number. Are you a demon?' 


" 'No,' I replied. 'Only something of a mind reader.' 
"Well, to be brief, the bargain was struck. I was to look for a watch 
that I knew he hadn't lost, and was to receive 200 if I found it. 
It seemed to him to be a very good bargain, as, indeed, it was, from 
his point of view, feeling, as he did, that there never having been any 
such watch, it could not be recovered, and little suspecting that two 
could play at his little game of deception, and that under any cir- 
cumstances I could foist a ten-shilling watch upon him for two 
hundred pounds. This business concluded, he started to go. 

"'Won't you have a little Scotch?' I asked, as he started, feeling, 
with all that prospective profit in view, I could well afford the ex- 
pense. 'It is a stormy night.' 

" 'Thanks, I will,' said he, returning and seating himself by my 
table still, to my surprise, keeping his hat on. 

" 'Let me take your hat,' I said, little thinking that my courtesy 
would reveal the true state of affairs. The mere mention of the word 
hat brought about a terrible change in my visitor; his knees trembled, 
his face grew ghastly, and he clutched the brim of his beaver until 
it cracked. He then nervously removed it, and I noticed a dull red 
mark running about his forehead, just as there would be on the 
forehead of a man whose hat fitted too tightly; and that mark, 
gentlemen, had the undulating outline of nothing more nor less than 
a tiara, and on the apex of the uppermost extremity was a deep 
indentation about the size of a shilling, that could have been made 
only by some adamantine substance! The mystery was solved! 
robber of the Duchess of Brokedale stood before me." 

A suppressed murmur of excitement went through the assembled 
spirits, and even Messrs. Hawkshaw and Lecoq were silent in the 
presence of such genius. 

"My plan of action was immediately formulated. The man was 
completely at my mercy. He had stolen the tiara, and had it con- 
cealed in the lining of his hat. I rose and locked the door. My visitor 
sank with a groan into my chair. 
" 'Why did you do that?' he stammered, as I turned the key in the 


"'To keep my Scotch whisky from evaporating,' I said, dryly. 
'Now, my lord,' I added, 'it will pay your Grace to let me have your 
hat. I know who you are. You are the Duke of Brokedale. The 


Duchess of Brokedale has lost a valuable tiara of diamonds, and you 
have not lost your watch. Somebody has stolen the diamonds, and 
it may be that somewhere there is a Bunker who has lost such a 
watch as I have described. The queer part of it all is - ' I continued, 
handina him the decanter, and taking a couple of loaded six-shooters 
out of my escritoire - 'the queer part of it all is that I have the watch 
and you have the tiara. We'll swap the swag. Hand over the bauble, 


" 'But ' he began. 

" 'We won't have any butting, your Grace,' said I. Til give you the 
watch, and you needn't mind the 200; and you must give me the 
tiara, or I'll accompany you forthwith to the police, and have a 
search made of your hat. It won't pay you to defy me. Give it up.' 

"He gave up the hat at once, and, as I suspected, there lay the 
tiara, snugly stowed away behind the head-band. 

" 'You are a great fellow,' said I, as I held the tiara up to the light 
and watched with pleasure the flashing brilliance of its gems. 

" 'I beg you'll not expose me,' he moaned. 'I was driven to it by 


" 'Not I,' I replied. 'As long as you play fair it will be all right. 
I'm not going to keep this thing. I'm not married, and so have no 
use for such a trifle; but what I do intend is simply to wait until your 
wife retains me to find it, and then I'll find it and get the reward. If 
you keep perfectly still, I'll have it found in such a fashion that you'll 
never be suspected. If, on the other hand, you say a word about to- 
night's events, I'll hand you over to the police.' 
" 'Humph!' he said. 'You couldn't prove a case against me.' 
" 'I can prove any case against anybody,' I retorted. 'If you don't 
believe it, read my book,' I added, and I handed him a copy of my 


" Tve read it,' he answered, 'and I ought to have known better than 
to come here. I thought you were only a literary success.' And with 
a deep-drawn sigh he took the watch and went out. Ten days later 
I was retained by the Duchess, and after a pretended search of ten 
days more I found the tiara, restored it to the noble lady, and received 
the 5000 reward. The Duke kept perfectly quiet about our little 
encounter, and afterwards we became stanch friends; for he was a 
good fellow, and was driven to his desperate deed only by the demands 



of his creditors, and the following Christmas he sent me the watch I 
had given him, with the best wishes of the season. 

"So, you see, gentlemen, in a moment, by quick wit and a mental 
concentration of no mean order, combined with strict observance of 
the pettiest details, I ferreted out what bade fair to become a great 
diamond mystery." 

"Hear! Hear!" cried Raleigh, growing tumultuous with enthu- 

"Your name? Your name?" came from all parts of the wharf. 

The stranger, putting his hand into the folds of his coat, drew forth 
a bundle of business cards, which he tossed, as the prestidigitator 
tosses playing cards, out among the audience, and on each of them 
was found printed the words: 



Plots for Sale 



Mr. Homes Solves a Question of Authorship 

John Kendric\ Bangs wrote a series of parodies which were 
syndicated in American newspapers in 1903 under the title 
"Shyloc^ Homes: His Posthumous Memoirs" Your Editors 
have tracked down eight of this series but certain curious 
evidence exists indicating there may have been more. At the 
time of this writing, however, all efforts to smof^e out the 
"missing memoirs" have jailed. 

For some unknown reason this series was never published in 
boo\ form. As a result Shyloc{ Homes is "lost" today almost 
completely forgotten except by a handful of oldtimers with 
long white memories. It is a special privilege, therefore, to 
memorialize one of Shyloc^ Homes' s cases between covers for 
the first time. 

In this adventure Homes acts in behalf of three famous 
and /or infamous ladies Lucretia Borgia, Mme. du Barry, 
and Portia. He reveals to them his great powers as a cipher- 
ologist, and in solving one of the most baffling mysteries of 
all time, Homes proves himself not only a detective but a 
literary detective to boot! 



. HERE had been some acrimonious discussion at the last session of 
the Cimmerian Branch of Sorosis over the authorship of the works 
of William Shakespeare. Cleopatra had read a paper of some clever- 
ness which proved to its fair author, at least, that the plays that have 
come down to us from the Golden Age of Letters were from the pen 


of a syndicate, of which Shakespeare was the managing director. 
Xanthippe, in a satirical philippic, demonstrated beyond peradventure 
that they were written by Guy Fawkes; Queen Elizabeth was strong 
in the debate in the affirmation of Bacon's responsibility for the 
works; Mrs. Noah proved an alibi for her husband, and Anne 
Hathaway, when called upon to speak, observed that she had never 
heard of them at all. The discussion waxed so fast and furious that 
in order to prevent the disruption of the society a committee of three, 
consisting of Lucretia Borgia, Mme. du Barry and Portia, was ap- 
pointed to wait upon myself with the request that I solve the mystery 
on behalf of the club, promising to abide by whatever decision I 
might render in the matter. The ladies mentioned did me the honor 
to call at my office, where they laid the whole question before me. 

"We shall be glad to lay before you any evidence at our disposal," 
said Portia. "I for one have worked out a cipher which seems to me 
conclusively to prove Bacon's authorship, but, of course, you can take 
it or reject it, just as you please." 

Thereupon she handed me a slip of paper, upon which the following 
was written: 

Two Gentlemen o 



Much Ado About 




nt of Venice 


hard III 



ng John 
You Like It 












ming of the Shrew 



omedy of Errors 








of Athens 




I glanced the acrostic over with interest, and then I asked: 
"But what does this prove?" 

"Bacon was born in '61," replied Portia, "which number is the 
sum total of the letters that spell out his name in the plays I have put 


on of Athens 



chant of Venice 



o About Nothing 









ius Caesar 



o and Juliet 








down there. Certainly such a coincidence, Mr. Homes, is not without 

Lucretia Borgia sneered. 

Foreseeing a quarrel of stupendous proportions, I quickly inter- 
vened. "Now," I said, "I'm something of % cipherologist myself, and 
I should like to see what I could prove to you in the same line. Sup- 
pose we try this arrangement," and I wrote out the following: 



Much A 





"Well," sneered Portia, in that freezing tone of hers, "what of it?" 

"Only that the numbered letters of the cipher foot up to thirty-two, 
which is Mr. Dooley's age, his books are all 32mos and for two years 
he has been getting thirty-two cents a word for all he writes," I ex- 
plained. "My dear ladies," I added, rising, "these things are interest- 
ing, but they prove nothing. By them you can prove that almost 
anybody, except Sienkiewicz, wrote Shakespeare's plays aye, even 
Hall Caine and Marie Corelli." 

"Why not Sienkiewicz?" asked Portia, icily. 

"Because, as you will observe from a glance at the backs of the 
immortal bard's works, there is no 'z' in any of Shakespeare's titles, 
madam," I replied. 

"How about 'Julius Caesar'?" she demanded, hastily. 

"A good play, madam," I replied promptly, "but spelled with 

an V " 

And then I entered upon the enterprise, which, I must confess, 
startled even myself in the manner of its ending. The first thing I 
did was to call upon Sir Francis Bacon. He received me in the library 
of his villa at Noxmere, and I found him a most interesting personage. 

"What can I do for Mr. Shylock Homes?" he asked, after we had 
exchanged the civilities of the moment. 


"Well, Sir Francis," I replied, "I have a somewhat delicate mission. 
I would like to make use of your keenly critical mind to solve a 
disputed authorship." 

"Aha!" he cried, betraying no little nervousness. "You are not 
taking up literary detection, I hope?" 

"Yes, I am, Sir Francis," I answered, "and my reputation is at 
stake. I wish to save it " 

"And cause me to lose mine by so doing!" he cried, impetuously, 
rising and pacing the room like a caged tiger. 

"I don't understand you, Sir Francis," I said. "I certainly would not 
have you lose your reputation to save my own. Are you under sus- 
picion in any literary controversy?" I added, innocently. 

Bacon eyed me narrowly, and then sat down. 

"Not that I am aware of," he said, with a sigh of relief, "although 
well, never mind. What is the mystery you wish to solve?" 

The action had begun sooner than I had expected. It was clear 
that His Lordship was much perturbed at the intrusion of myself 
into his affairs, and so, to throw him off the scent, instead of asking 
him frankly the question, "Did you or did you not write Shakespeare's 
plays?" as I had come to do, I answered, choosing my words by the 
merest chance, "That of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." 

If I had thrown a bomb into the middle of the library the effect 
could not have been more dramatic. Bacon jumped up as if he 
had been shot, but I paid no attention, going on with my question 

"Was that story romance or realism?" 

"You have the subtlety of the serpent, Mr. Shylock Homes," he 
answered, with difficulty regaining his composure. "Why do you ask 
me, of all men, that question?" 

"Because," said I, a great light dawning upon my mind, "I thought 
you, of all men, could tell me." 

"But why? Why? Why? Why?" he cried, the reiterated "whys" 
rising in inflection until they ended in a shriek. 

Unconsciously I had struck a vein of rich ore, and my future course 
revealed itself to me on the instant. 

"Because," I said, "because you, of all men, should know having 
tried the same scheme yourself." 
The pallor that spread over his countenance was deadly, and he 


sank back limp in his chair, but, as with a sudden resolve, he straight- 
ened up again and became strong. 

"Great heavens, Homes, where have you heard this?" he implored. 

"Oh, just a little coterie to which I belonged in London used to take 
that theory," I lied, "and it found so general an acceptance among us 
and our friends and our friends' friends that I had supposed that by 
this time it was all over." 

"You are retained by?" he queried. 

"Sorosis," said I. 

"And your fee I will double it, Mr. Shylock Homes, if you will 
call off." 

"I am incorruptible, Sir Francis," said I, rising with a mock show of 
anger, "and I bid you good evening." 

"Don't leave me in anger, Mr. Homes," he pleaded, holding out 
his hand. "I have long admired you and your work, and was frankly 
delighted when I received your card. My unfortunate suggestion as 
to your fee I deeply regret. I, of course, know that you could not be 
corrupted, but I so deprecate the prolongation of the controversy as 
to my connection with er Shakespeare's works, that I forgot 

"Don't mention it, Sir Francis," I replied, accepting his proffered 
hand. "I understand. And to show you that I have no ill feelings, I 
wish you would take luncheon with me next Wednesday." 

He fell into the trap at once. "I shall be delighted," he said. 

"And to set forever at rest this absurd theory as to you and Shake- 
speare being another case of Jekyll and Hyde I'll ask him, too. If you 
are both there you cannot, of course, be the same man, you see." 

Bacon tottered and almost fell as I spoke, but he soon recovered his 

"I I will see that he accepts," he said, huskily. 

"Thank you," said I, and took my departure. 

Upon my return to my office I despatched a note to Shakespeare 
bidding him to the feast of Wednesday, and was somewhat taken 
aback, in view of my theory, to receive an immediate acceptance. 
When I left Lord Bacon I was morally convinced that I had fallen 
upon the right solution of the mystery, but if this were so how could 
both Shakespeare and Bacon be present at my luncheon simultane- 
ously ? 


It perplexed me much, and, seeing no way out of the mystery, I 
dismissed the whole matter from my mind, and sat down to await 
developments. Wednesday came, and, at the appointed hour, both 
guests arrived, walking in arm in arm, and chatting away as amiably 
as if there had never been a fierce battle raging between their followers 
for the greatest literary honors the world has to bestow. I was more 
than ever puzzled, when I shook them by the hand and made diem 
welcome at my table, but it was none the less clear that there was 
some mystery to which they were both a party, for Bacon was ex- 
cessively nervous all through the luncheon, and Shakespeare perspired 
as freely as though he were Damocles sitting beneath a suspended 
sword. Moreover, Bacon was loath to let Shakespeare open his mouth, 
save to take in food and drink. He talked incessantly, and, at times, 
so vagariously that I wondered if he were in his right mind. Nor was 
there about Shakespeare any of the bonhomie that I had heard was so 
characteristic of the man, and, when the luncheon was over, instead 
of feeling that I had known him all my life, I really felt as if 1 
him less well than when we had first sat down at table. Still, there 
they were, both of them, and my theory must fall in the face of the 
fact, unless Ah! That unless! It saved the day for Shylock Homes, 
for 'it bade me pursue the same line of inquiry even in the face of 

certain defeat. 

Turning the conversation upon certain political schemers and thei 
plans, I ventured die Shakespearean quotation : 

"Excellent! I smell a device!" 

Bacon was about to respond, when Shakespeare growled forth: 

"You don't smell advice, do you, Mr. Homes? Your English is 


Bacon upset his coffee in Shakespeare's lap to divert the bard and 
set his tongue wagging on other lines, with which subterfuge 
in most readily, but it was too late. Evidently there was something 
wrong with this Shakespeare, who protested against his own periods 
and ventured the beginnings of an assault upon his own language. I 
did, indeed, smell a device, but for the moment pursued it no further. 

"I must lull them into a sense of security," I thought, "and maybe 
then all will become clear." 

How well I did so is evidenced by the fact that when we parted 
it was with the distinct promise that Shakespeare and I were to spend 


the following Sunday at Noxmere with Bacon. I was glad indeed of 
the invitation, for my suspicions were becoming so great that all the 
powers of Hades could not now have diverted me from the mystery 
I had undertaken to solve. Entirely apart from the interest I was 
beginning to take in it, it would never do, even from a professional 
point of view, to give up now or let Bacon deceive me, as he appeared 
to be trying to do, and, as I looked back upon the luncheon and 
recalled several seemingly insignificant little details, I felt pretty 
certain that there was something very strange about Shakespeare. He 
preferred absinthe to ale, for one thing; he questioned the use of 
terms in one of his own phrases; had no good stories to tell and was 
very far from being the roistering companion his friends had cracked 
him up to be. A day in the country might reveal the true inwardness 
of certain things that just now baffled me, and I accepted with alacrity. 
Not so Shakespeare, who betrayed considerable reluctance to be one 
of the party, but partly by persuasion and partly, I could see, by in- 
timidation he was won over. 

The next day I called upon my friend Henry Jekyll, with whom I 
had been on intimate relations in London the year he and I sprang 
almost simultaneously into our enviable notoriety. I told him frankly 
the position in which I was placed, and what I suspected, and adjured 
him, if he were my friend, to give me the prescription by which he 
transformed himself into Hyde, and then from Hyde back to Jekyll 
again. At first he refused me point blank. 

"You'll use it on yourself, Homes, and if you do it will ruin you," 

he said. 
"I swear to you that I will not, Jekyll," I replied. "You know the 

value of my word." 

"But " he persisted. 

"Do you want me to be made the laughing stock of all Hades?" 
I cried. "As I surely shall be if I fail in this enterprise." 

"I know, Homes," said he. "But - 

"It is the only favor I have ever asked of you, Henry Jekyll," said 
I. "And I beg to recall to your mind that I knew the truth of your 
double existence in London when Hyde murdered Sir Danvers 
Carew. Did I betray you when your betrayal would have made my 


"It is yours," he cried, as, seizing a prescription blank from the 
table, he wrote down the required formula. 

I had the powder in my pocket the following Sunday, upon my 
arrival at Noxmere. The day passed pleasantly, and Shakespeare 
proved a charming companion rather too much given to reciting 
lines from his own works, perhaps, but full of geniality and quite 
like the man I had expected to find him. Indeed, had his manner at 
the luncheon been the same as that which he displayed at Noxmere 
I should have pursued the Jekyll-and-Hyde theory no further. But 
now I refused to cast suspicion aside without the supremest test of 
trying Jekyll's powders on Bacon. All day long, I avoided allusion to 
my professional work, and by nightfall both Bacon and Shakespeare 
were so thoroughly convinced that they had thrown me off the scent 
that they became frankly and facetiously jocular. I bided my time 
until the nightcap hour came, and then, in order to put my plan into 
operation, suggested that I be allowed to mix a cocktail for the com- 

"I learned the art from an American friend," I said, "and I assure 
you, my Lord, and you, too, William Shakespeare, when you have 
swallowed your first Martini you will say that you've never had a 
drink before." 

"Wassail to the Martini!" cried Bacon, joyously. 

"All hail the queue de coq!" roared Shakespeare, jovially a 
remark which caused Bacon to frown and Shakespeare to turn pale. 
What had the "Bard of Avon" to do, indeed, with the French 
language ? I said nothing whatever, proceeding at once to the making 
of the mixture, and into Bacon's glass I slipped Jekyll's powder. We 
all drank, and then 

Do you remember Dr. Lanyon's narrative in Stevenson's stirring 
account of Jekyll's fall, in which he describes what happened to Mr. 
Hyde when he had swallowed the potion ? His words, as I remember 
them, ran as follows : 

"He put the glass to his lips and drank at one gulp. A cry followed. 
He reeled, staggered, clutched at the table and held on, staring with 
injected eyes, gasping with open mouth, and as I looked there came, 
I thought, a change he seemed to swell, his face became suddenly 
black and the features seemed to melt and alter, and the next moment 


I had sprung to my feet and leaped back against the wall, my arm 
raised to shield me from that prodigy, my mind submerged in terror. 

'"Oh, God!' I screamed, and 'Oh, God!' again and again, for 
there, before my eyes, pale and shaken and half fainting, and groping 
before him with his hands, like a man restored from death, there stood 
Henry Jekyll!'" 

The same scene was enacted in the study of Francis Bacon. He, 
too, like Hyde, drained the contents of the glass at a gulp. He, too, 
reeled, staggered and clutched and held onto the table, staring with 
injected eyes and gasping with open mouth. And over him, also, came 
a change in which his face turned suddenly black and the features 
melted and altered. 

Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, faded in a mist of horror and out 
of it emerged, pale, palsied and shattered for the moment, no less a 
person than William Shakespeare himself, while seated opposite, 
gazing in horrified wonderment, sat another Shakespeare, who gasped 
and choked and gripped and groaned, staring the real in the eye and 
powerless for the instant to move. I stood back in the shadow of the 
mantel watching both, when suddenly the spurious Shakespeare, with 
a shriek, sprang madly to his feet and plunged toward the door. By 
a quick move I intercepted him. 
"We have solved the old mystery now for the new!" I cried. 

"Who are you?" 

"I beg of you," he began, whereupon I seized him by the goatee, 
which, being false, came off in my hand and with it the rest of the 
disguise, wig, mustache and all. 

It was M. Lecoq. 

"I _I paid him for this, Mr. Homes!" gasped Bacon, or, rather, 
Shakespeare, as he now was. "Do not blame M. Lecoq for this - 

"He may go," said I. "I have only to deal with you." 

And Lecoq shrank from the room and disappeared into the night. 

"Well, Lord Bacon," said I, addressing the poor creature before me. 
"I have discovered the secret of the centuries. It is you who are the 
author of Shakespeare's plays." 

"In a sense as Shakespeare I I wrote them, yes." 

"So that I may report - 

"I do not know!" he moaned. "I am broken, Mr. Homes, absolutely 
broken, in spirit. To have this known - 


"It never will be, Lord Bacon," said I, "at least not here. I shall 
publish my report only in the upper world, and the books of that 
sphere have no circulation in this." 

"And you will conclude?" 

"There is but one conclusion, Lord Bacon. William Shakespeare 
wrote his own works. You backed him. I shall so report to Sorosis 
and the ladies may take it as final or leave it." 

And so I left him. True to my promise, this story has not been 
circulated in Hades, and I rejoice to say that, based upon my report 
to the committee, the Society of Sorosis of Cimmeria has voted by 
369 to i that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. 

The negative vote was cast by Anne Hathaway, who observed that 
she did not wish to incriminate her husband until she had seen the 


or, The Defective Detective 


"Maddened by Mystery" from Stephen LeacocT(s NONSENSE 
NOVELS (London, Lane, 1911; New Yorf^, Lane, 1911), is Can- 
ada's contribution to our Parade of Parodies. The author, a 
world-famous wit and political economist, goes all out in his 
satire of the Sacred Writings and the Great Man. 

"Maddened by Mystery' (a maddening title) was the only 
parody chosen by E. C. Bentley, creator of Philip Trent, for his 
Hutchinson, 1938). It is therefore safe to deduce that this 
hilarious burlesque is E. C. Bentley' s favorite parody of Holmes 
a recommendation not to be ignored, or cast aside lightly. 

Don't be self-conscious: chuckle to your heart's content! 



_ GREAT DETECTIVE sat in his office. He wore a long green gown 
and half a dozen secret badges pinned to the outside of it. 
Three or four pairs of false whiskers hung on a whisker stand 

beside him. 

Goggles, blue spectacles, and motor glasses lay within easy reach. 

He could completely disguise himself at a second's notice. 

Half a bucket of cocaine and a dipper stood on a chair at his elbow. 

His face was absolutely impenetrable. 

A pile of cryptograms lay on the desk. The Great Detective hastily 
tore them open one after the other, solved them, and threw them 
down the cryptogram chute at his side. 

There was a rap at the door. 

The Great Detective hurriedly wrapped himself in a pink domino, 
adjusted a pair of false black whiskers and cried: 


"Come in." 

His secretary entered. "Ha," said the detective, "it is you!" 

He laid aside his disguise. 

"Sir," said the young man in intense excitement, "a mystery has 
been committed!" 

"Ha!" said the Great Detective, his eye kindling, "is it such as to 
completely baffle the police of the entire continent?" 

"They are so completely baffled with it," said the secretary, "that 
they are lying collapsed in heaps; many of them have committed 

"So," said the detective, "and is the mystery one that is absolutely 
unparalleled in the whole recorded annals of the London police?" 

"It is." 

"And I suppose," said the detective, "that it involves names which 
you would scarcely dare to breathe, at least without first using some 
kind of atomizer or throat gargle." 


"And it is connected, I presume, with the highest diplomatic con- 
sequences, so that if we fail to solve it England will be at war with 
the whole world in sixteen minutes?" 

His secretary, still quivering with excitement, again answered yes. 

"And finally," said the Great Detective, "I presume that it was 
committed in broad daylight, in some such place as the entrance of 
the Bank of England, or in the cloakroom of the House of Commons, 
and under the very eyes of the police?" 

"Those," said the secretary, "are the very conditions of the mystery." 

"Good," said the Great Detective. "Now wrap yourself in this 
disguise, put on these brown whiskers and tell me what it is." 

The secretary wrapped himself in a blue domino with lace inser- 
tions, then, bending over, he whispered in the ear of the Great De- 

"The Prince of Wiirttemberg has been kidnaped." 

The Great Detective bounded from his chair as if he had been 
kicked from below. 

A prince stolen! Evidently a Bourbon! The scion of one of the 
oldest families in Europe kidnaped. Here was a mystery indeed 
worthy of his analytical brain. 

His mind began to move like lightning. 


"Stop!" he said. "How do you know this?" 

The secretary handed him a telegram. It was from the Prefect of 
Police of Paris. It read : 


So! The Prince had been kidnaped out of Paris at the very time 
when his appearance at the International Exposition would have been 
a political event of the first magnitude. 

With the Great Detective to think was to act, and to act was to 
think. Frequently he could do both together. 

"Wire to Paris for a description of the Prince." 

The secretary bowed and left. 

At the same moment there was a slight scratching at the door. 

A visitor entered. He crawled stealthily on his hands and knees. 
A hearthrug thrown over his head and shoulders disguised his 


He crawled to the middle of the room. 

Then he rose. 

Great Heaven! 

It was the Prime Minister of England. 

"You!" said the detective. 

"Me," said the Prime Minister. 

"You have come in regard to the kidnaping of the Prince o Wiirt- 

The Prime Minister started. 

"How do you know?" he said. 

The Great Detective smiled his inscrutable smile. 

"Yes," said the Prime Minister. "I will use no concealment. I am 
interested, deeply interested. Find the Prince of Wiirttemberg, get 
him safe back to Paris and I will add 500 to the reward already 
offered. But listen," he said impressively as he left the room, "see 
to it that no attempt is made to alter the marking of the Prince, or 

to clip his tail." 

So! To clip the Prince's tail! The brain of the Great Detective 
reeled. So! A gang of miscreants had conspired to But no! The 
thing was not possible. 


There was another rap at the door. 

A second visitor was seen. He wormed his way in, lying almost 
prone upon his stomach, and wriggling across the floor. He was 
enveloped in a long purple cloak. He stood up and peeped over the 
top of it. 

Great Heaven! 

It was the Archbishop of Canterbury! 

"Your Grace!" exclaimed the detective in amazement. "Pray do 
not stand, I beg you. Sit down, lie down, anything rather than 

The Archbishop took off his miter and laid it wearily on the 
whisker stand. 

"You are here in regard to the Prince of Wiirttemberg." 

The Archbishop started and crossed himself. Was the man a ma- 
gician ? 

"Yes," he said, "much depends on getting him back. But I have 
only come to say this : my sister is desirous of seeing you. She is com- 
ing here. She has been extremely indiscreet and her fortune hangs 
upon the Prince. Get him back to Paris or I fear she will be ruined." 

The Archbishop regained his miter, uncrossed himself, wrapped 
his cloak about him, and crawled stealthily out on his hands and 
knees, purring like a cat. 

The face of the Great Detective showed the most profound sym- 
pathy. It ran up and down in furrows. "So," he muttered, "the sister 
of the Archbishop, the Countess of Dashleigh!" Accustomed as he 
was to the life of the aristocracy, even the Great Detective felt that 
here was intrigue of more than customary complexity. 

There was a loud rapping at the door. 

There entered the Countess of Dashleigh. She was all in furs. 

She was the most beautiful woman in England. She strode im- 
periously into the room. She seized a chair imperiously and seated 
herself on it, imperial side up. 

She took of! her tiara of diamonds and put it on the tiara holder 
beside her and uncoiled her boa of pearls and put it on the pearl 

"You have come," said the Great Detective, "about the Prince of 

"Wretched little pup!" said the Countess of Dashleigh in disgust. 


So! A further complication! Far from being in love with the Prince, 
the Countess denounced the young Bourbon as a pup! 
"You are interested in him, I believe." 
"Interested!" said the Countess. "I should rather say so. Why, I 

bred him!" 
"You which?" gasped the Great Detective, his usually impassive 

features suffused with a carmine blush. 

"I bred him," said the Countess, "and I've got 10,000 upon his 
chances, so no wonder I want him back in Paris. Only listen," she 
said, "if they've got hold of the Prince and cut his tail or spoiled the 
markings of his stomach it would be far better to have him quietly 
put out of the way here." 

The Great Detective reeled and leaned up against the side of the 
room. So! The cold-blooded admission of the beautiful woman for 
the moment took away his breath! Herself the mother of the young 
Bourbon, misallied with one of the greatest families of Europe, stak- 
ing her fortune on a Royalist plot, and yet with so instinctive a 
knowledge of European politics as to know that any removal of the 
hereditary birthmarks of the Prince would forfeit for him the sym- 
pathy of the French populace. 

The Countess resumed her tiara. 

She left. 

The secretary re-entered. 

"I have three telegrams from Paris," he said. "They are completely 


He handed over the first telegram. 
It read: 


The Great Detective looked puzzled. 
He read the second telegram. 


And then the third. 



The two men looked at one another. The mystery was maddening, 

The Great Detective spoke. 

"Give me my domino," he said. "These clues must be followed up." 
Then pausing, while his quick brain analyzed and summed up the 
evidence before him "A young man," he muttered, "evidently 
young since described as a 'pup,' with a long, wet snout (ha! addicted 
obviously to drinking), a streak of white hair across his back (a first 
sign of the results of his abandoned life) yes, yes," he continued, 
"with this clue I shall find him easily." 
The Great Detective rose. 

He wrapped himself in a long black cloak with white whiskers 
and blue spectacles attached. 

Completely disguised, he issued forth. 
He began the search. 

For four days he visited every corner of London. 
He entered every saloon in the city. In each of them he drank a 
glass of rum. In some of them he assumed the disguise of a sailor. 
In others he entered as a soldier. Into others he penetrated as a clergy- 
man. His disguise was perfect. Nobody paid any attention to him 
as long as he had the price of a drink. 
The search proved fruitless. 

Two young men were arrested under suspicion of being the Prince, 
only to be released. 

The identification was incomplete in each case. 
One had a long wet snout but no hair on his back. 
The other had hair on his back but couldn't bark. 
Neither of them was the young Bourbon. 
The Great Detective continued his search. 
He stopped at nothing. 

Secretly, after nightfall, he visited the home of the Prime Minister. 
He examined it from top to bottom. He measured all the doors and 
windows. He took up the flooring. He inspected the plumbing. He 
examined the furniture. He found nothing. 

With equal secrecy he penetrated into the palace of the- Archbishop. 
He examined it from top to bottom. Disguised as a choirboy he took 
part in the offices of the Church. He found nothing. 
Still undismayed, the Great Detective made his way into the home 


of the Countess of Dashleigh. Disguised as a housemaid, he entered 
the service of the Countess. 

Then at last the clue came which gave him a solution of the mys- 

On the wall of the Countess's boudoir was. a large framed en- 

It was a portrait. 

Under it was a printed legend : 


The portrait was that of a dachshund. 

The long body, the broad ears, the undipped tail, the short hind 
legs all were there. 

In the fraction of a second the lightning mind of the Great De- 
tective had penetrated the whole mystery. 


Hastily throwing a domino over his housemaid's dress, he rushed 
to the street. He summoned a passing hansom, and in a few minutes 
was at his house. 

"I have it," he gasped to his secretary, "the mystery is solved. I 
have pieced it together. By sheer analysis I have reasoned it out. 
Listen hind legs, hair on back, wet snout, pup eh, what? Does 
that suggest nothing to you?" 

"Nothing," said the secretary; "it seems perfectly hopeless." 

The Great Detective, now recovered from his excitement, smiled 


"It means simply this, my dear fellow. The Prince of Wiirttemberg 
is a dog, a prize dachshund. The Countess of Dashleigh bred him, 
and he is worth some ,25,000 in addition to the prize of ,10,000 
offered at the Paris dog show. Can you wonder that ' 

At that moment the Great Detective was interrupted by the scream 
of a woman. 

"Great Heaven!" 

The Countess of Dashleigh dashed into the room. 

Her face was wild. 

Her tiara was in disorder. 

Her pearls were dripping all over the place. 

She wrung her hands and moaned. 


"They have cut his tail," she gasped, "and taken all the hair off 
his back. What can I do? I am undone!" 

"Madame," said the Great Detective, calm as bronze, "do yourself 
up. I can save you yet." 




"Listen. This is how. The Prince was to have been shown at Paris." 

The Countess nodded. 

"Your fortune was staked on him?" 

The Countess nodded again. 

"The dog was stolen, carried to London, his tail cut and his marks 

Amazed at the quiet penetration of the Great Detective, the Count- 
ess kept on nodding and nodding. 

"And you are ruined?" 

"I am," she gasped, and sank down on the floor in a heap of pearls. 

"Madame," said the Great Detective, "all is not lost." 

He straightened himself up to his full height. A look of inflinchable 
unflexibility flickered over his features. 

The honor of England, the fortune of the most beautiful woman 
in England were at stake. 

"I will do it," he murmured. 

"Rise, dear lady," he continued. "Fear nothing. I WILL IMPER- 

That night the Great Detective might have been seen on the deck 
of the Calais packet-boat with his secretary. He was on his hands 
and knees in a long black cloak, and his secretary had him on a 
short chain. 

He barked at the waves exultingly and licked the secretary's hand. 

"What a beautiful dog," said the passengers. 

The disguise was absolutely complete. 

The Great Detective had been coated over with mucilage to which 
dog hairs had been applied. The markings on his back were perfect. 
His tail, adjusted with an automatic coupler, moved up and down 
responsive to every thought. His deep eyes were full of intelligence. 
Next day he was exhibited in the dachshund class at the Inter- 
national show. 


He won all hearts. 

"Quel beau chien!" cried the French people. 

"Ach! Was ein Dog!" cried the Spanish. 

The Great Detective took the first prize! 

The fortune of the Countess was saved. 

Unfortunately as the Great Detective had neglected to pay the dog 
tax, he was caught and destroyed by the dogcatchers. But that is, 
of course, quite outside of the present narrative, and is only men- 
tioned as an odd fact in conclusion. 

Detective: the great detective 




In the preceding parody Mr. Leacocf^ calls his protagonist "the 
Great Detective" with two capital letters. In "An Irreducible 
Detective Story"nhe author calls his chief character "the great 
detective" with no capitals. 

This spelling clue suggests that Mr. LeacocJ^ did not intend 
his second parody to be a sequel to the first mores the pity. 
But your Editors could not bring themselves to deprive you of 
a "hair-raising" burlesque merely because of the absence of two 
capital letters. 

"An Irreducible Detective Story" from FURTHER FOOLISHNESS 
(New Yorf(, Lane, /p/6; London, Lane, 191 7), was written pri- 
marily to lampoon the so-called short-short story. This is not 
a deduction it is clearly revealed by the author's own preface 
which reads: "Among the latest follies in fiction is the perpetual 
demand for stories shorter and shorter still. The only thing to 
do is to meet this demand at the source and chec\ it. The story 
below, if left to soa\ overnight in a barrel of rainwater, will 
swell to the dimensions of a dollar-fifty novel." 



.HE MYSTERY had now reached its climax. First, the man had been 
undoubtedly murdered. Second, it was absolutely certain that no con- 
ceivable person had done it. 

It was therefore time to call in the great detective. 

He gave one searching glance at the corpse. In a moment he 
whipped out a microscope. 

"Ha! Ha!" he said, as he picked a hair off the lapel of the dead 
man's coat. "The mystery is now solved." 


He held up the hair. 

"Listen," he said, "we have only to find the man who 1 
hair and the criminal is in our hands." 
The inexorable chain of logic was complete. 
The detective set himself to the search. 

For four days and nights he moved, unobserved, through the stre, 
of New York scanning closely every face he passed, looking for a 
man who had lost a hair. 

On the fifth day he discovered a man, disguised as a tourist, his 
head enveloped in a steamer cap that reached below his ears. 
The man was about to go on board the Gloritama. 
The detective followed him on board. 

"Arrest him!" he said, and then drawing himself to his full height, 
he brandished aloft the hair. 

"This is his," said the great detective. "It proves his guilt. 
"Remove his hat," said the ship's captain sternly. 
They did so. 

The man was entirely bald. 

"Ha!" said the great detective, without a moment of hesitation. 
"He has committed not one murder but about a million." 



"I think, sir, when Holmes fell over that cliff, 
he may not have killed himself, but all the same 
he was never quite the same man afterwards." 

A Cornish boatman's 
comment to Sir Arthur 
Conan Doyle 




This sketch appeared originally in "The Bohemian' magazine, 
London, issue of January 1894. So far as your Editors have been 
able to determine, it has never been reprinted, and since copies 
of "The Bohemian" are hard to come by these days, we are 
happy to ma\e available this rare early travesty. 

"The Adventure of the Table Foot" illustrates the purely 
farcical approach, which is not nearly so effective as shrewdly 
plotted burlesque. 


CALLED one morning a crisp cold wintry December day on 
my friend Thinlock Bones, for the purpose of keeping him company 
at breakfast, and, as usual about this time of the morning, I found 
him running over the agony columns of the different newspapers, 
quietly smiling at the egotistical private -detective advertisements. He 
looked up and greeted me as 1 entered. 

"Ah, Whatsoname, how d'you do ? You have not had breakfast yet. 
And you must be hungry. I suppose that is why you drove, and in a 
hansom too. Yet you had time to stay and look at your barometer. 
You look surprised. I can easily see any fool would see it that 
you've not breakfasted, as your teeth and mouth are absolutely clean, 
not a crumb about. I noticed it as you smiled on your entry. You 
drove it's a muddy morning and your boots are quite clean. In a 
hansom don't I know what time you rise? How then could you 
get here so quickly without doing it in a hansom? A bus or four- 
wheeler couldn't do it in the time. Oh! The barometer business. Why, 
it's as plain as a pikestaff. It's a glorious morning, yet you've brought 
an umbrella thinking that it would rain. And why should you think 


it would rain unless the barometer told you so ? I see, too, some laborer 
pushed up against you as you came along. The mud on your shoulder, 

you know." 

"It was a lamppost that did it," I answered. 

"It was a laborer," quietly said Bones. 

At that moment a young man was shown in. He was as pale as 
death and trembling in every limb. Thinlock Bones settled himself 
for business, and, as was the usual habit with him when he was about 
to think, he put his two long tapered hands to his nose. 

"What can I do for you, sir?" asked Bones. "Surely a young swell 
like you, with plenty of money, a brougham, living in the fashionable 
part of the West End, and the son of a Peer, can't be in trouble." 

"Good God, you're right, how do you know it all?" cried the 


"I deduct it," said Thinlock, "you tell me it all yourself. But pro- 

"My name is St. Timon " 

"Robert St. Timon," put in Bones. 

"Yes, that is so, but " 

"I saw it in your hat," said Bones. 

"I am Robert St. Timon, son of Lord St. Timon, of Grosvenor 

Square, and am " 

"Private Secretary to him," continued Thinlock. "I see a letter 
marked Private and Confidential addressed to your father sticking 
out of your pocket." 

"Quite correct," went on St. Timon, "thus it was that in my con- 
fidential capacity I heard one day from my father of an attachment, 
an infatuation that someone had for him, an elderly - 

"Lady," said Thinlock Bones, from the depths of his chair, showing 
how keenly he was following the depths of the plot as it was un- 
folded to him by his peculiar habit of holding his bloodless hands to 

his nose. 

"Right again," said the young man. "Mr. Bones, you are simply 

marvelous. How do you manage it?" 

"It is very simple," Bones replied, "but I will not stop to explain. 
Whatsoname here understands my little methods quite well now. He 
will tell you by-and-by." 


"It was an elderly and immensely wealthy lady, then," Robert St. 
Timon continued, "named the Honorable Mrs. Goran - 

"A widow," Bones interrupted. 

"Wonderful," said St. Timon, "the Honorable Mrs. Goran, a 
widow. It was she who was simply head over ears in love with my 
father, Lord St. Timon. He, although a widower, cared little for 
her but 

"A lot for her money," said the quick-witted detective. 

"How do you divine these things? You guess my innermost 
thoughts, the words before they are out of my mouth. How did you 
know it?" St. Timon asked. 

"I know the human race," Thinlock Bones answered. 

"Well, if he could manage he wanted to inherit her money without 
marrying her. Would she leave him her riches if he did not propose, 
was the question ? How to find out ? He was a comparatively young 
man and did not unnecessarily wish to tie himself to an octo- 
genarian, although a millionairess. But he mustn't lose her wealth. 
If when she died he was not her husband, would he get the money ? 
If the worst came to the worst he must marry her sooner than let 
the gold slip out of his grasp. But he must not espouse the old lady 
needlessly. How was he to find out? A project struck him, and the 
means offered itself. We were both asked to a dinner party at the 
Countess Plein de Beer's where we knew the Honorable Mrs. Goran 
would be present, and- 

"You both accepted," interrupted Bones. "Oh," he went on before 
the other could ask the reasons of his swift and accurate deductions, 
"oh, it's very simple. I saw in 'The Daily Telegraph's London Day 

by Day.' " 

"Yes, we accepted," continued St. Timon, "and this was our plan 
of campaign: I was to take the old doting lady down to dinner and 
to insinuate myself into her confidence aided by good wine, of 
which she was a devoted admirer in a subtle fashion and thus to 
extract the secret out of her. I was to find out by the time she had 
arrived at the Countess's old port whether my father was her heir 
or not. Whether she had left him her money without being his wife. 
Time was short, and if she had not my father was to propose that 
very night after dinner. The signal agreed on between my father and 



me was that if he was her heir without being her husband I was to 
kick him under the table and he would not propose otherwise 
he would. Oh! Mr. Bones," he sobbed, turning his piteous white 
face to Thinlock, "this is where I want your great intellect to help 
me, to aid me and explain this mystery. 

"The plan worked admirably," he went on, "I gleaned every fact 
about the disposition of her money after her death from her when she 
was in her cups or rather her wineglasses. My father was her 
absolute and sole heir, and I thanked the heavens with all my heart 
that I was spared such a stepmother. I kicked, as arranged, my father 
under the table, but oh! Mr. Bones, immediately after dinner my 
father went to her and asked her to be his wife and she has accepted 
him! What does it all mean, what does it all mean!!" 

"That you kicked the foot of the table instead!" quietly replied the 
greatest detective of modern times as he unraveled the intricate plot 
and added another success to his brilliant career. 

Detective: SHERLOCK HOLMES Narrator: WATSON 


This obscure parody, though it appeared in the American 
humor-magazine, "Pucl(" issue of October 24, 1804, is now 
virtually unknown. It was brought to your Editors attention 
by Mr. Christopher Morley, Gasogene-and-Tantahis of The 
Ba^er Street Irregulars and a charter-enthusiast in all matter 
Sherlocfyan. Printer's copy was generously provided by Edgar 
W. Smith, Hon. "Buttons' of the same devotional organization}- 
"The Sign of the '400' " an exceptionally felicitous parody- 
tjfl e belongs to the "Punch" school of burlesque. Like the 
Pic{loc{ Holes series by R. C. Lehmann and "The Adventure 
of the Table Foot" by Zero (Allan Ramsay}, it exploits the 
reductio ad absurdum technique, leaning heavily on mere farce 
and lacking the really clever plot jramewor\ which is so es- 
sential to classic permanence. 

.OR THE nonce, Holmes was slighting his cocaine and was joyously 
jabbing himself with morphine his favorite 70 per cent solution 
when a knock came at the door; it was our landlady with a tele- 
gram. Holmes opened it and read it carelessly. 

1 The Baker Street Irregulars held their first formal meeting in Chris Cella's Restau- 
rant in New York City on the evening of June 5, 1934. On the same evening the first 
dinner of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London was being held, appropriately, in 
Canute's Restaurant in Baker Street. The American organization now boasts two 
branches. The Boston Chapter, founded in 1940, is called The Speckled Band; its offi- 
cers are P. M. Stone, Hon. Chairman ("Stoker") and James Keddie, Jr., Hon. Treasurer 
("Cheetah"). On the night of January 8th, 1943 a Chicago Chapter was inaugurated, 
headed by the Doyen of Sherlockholmitis, Mr. Vincent Starrett. The following tele- 
gram, sent to The Baker Street Irregulars convening simultaneously at the Murray 
Hill Hotel in New York City, announced the formation of the new Chicago Chapter: 


236 THE SIGN OF THE 400 

"H'm!" he said. "What do you think of this, Watson?" 

BUGGE PLACE, s. w.," I read. 

"Why, it's from Athelney Jones," I remarked. 

"Just so," said Holmes; "call a cab." 

We were soon at the address given, 72 Chinchbugge Place being 
the town house of the Dowager Countess of Coldslaw. It was an old- 
fashioned mansion, somewhat weather-beaten. The old hat stuffed 
in the broken pane in the drawing room gave the place an air of 
unstudied artistic negligence, which we both remarked at the time. 

Athelney Jones met us at the door. He wore a troubled expression. 
"Here's a pretty go, gentlemen!" was his greeting. "A forcible entrance 
has been made to Lady Coldslaw's boudoir, and the famous Cold- 
slaw diamonds are stolen." 

Without a word Holmes drew out his pocket lens and examined the 
atmosphere. "The whofe thing wears an air of mystery," he said, 


We then entered the house. Lady Coldslaw was completely pros- 
trated and could not be seen. We went at once to the scene of the 
robbery. There was no sign of anything unusual in the boudoir, 
except that the windows and furniture had been smashed and the 
pictures had been removed from the walls. An attempt had been 
made by the thief to steal the wallpaper, also. However, he had not 
succeeded. It had rained the night before and muddy footprints led 
up to the escritoire from which the jewels had been taken. A heavy 
smell of stale cigar smoke hung over the room. Aside from these 
hardly noticeable details, the despoiler had left no trace of his 

In an instant Sherlock Holmes was down on his knees examining 
the footprints with a stethoscope. "H'm!" he said; "so you can make 
nothing out of this, Jones?" 

"No, sir," answered the detective; "but I hope to; there's a big 


"It's all very simple, my good fellow," said Holmes. "The robbery 
was committed at three o'clock this morning by a short, stout, middle- 
aged, hen-pecked man with a cast in his eye. His name is Smythe, 
and he lives at 239 Toff Terrace." 

THE SIGN OF THE "400 237 

Jones fairly gasped. "What! Major Smythe, one of the highest 
thought-of and richest men in the city?" he said. 

"The same." 

In half an hour we were at Smythe's bedside. Despite his protesta- 
tions, he was pinioned and driven to prison. 

"For heaven's sake, Holmes," said I, when we returned to our 
rooms, "how did you solve that problem so quickly?" 

"Oh, it was easy, dead easy!" said he. "As soon as we entered the 
room, I noticed the cigar smoke. It was cigar smoke from a cigar that 
had been given a husband by his wife. I could tell that, for I have 
made a study of cigar smoke. Any other but a hen-pecked man throws 
such cigars away. Then I could tell by the footprints that the man 
had had appendicitis. Now, no one but members of the '400' have 
that. Who then was hen-pecked in the '400,' and had had appendicitis 
recently? Why, Major Smythe, of course! He is middle-aged, stout, 
and has a cast in his eye." 

I could not help but admire my companion's reasoning, and told 
him so. "Well," he said, "it is very simple if you know how." 

Thus ended the Coldslaw robbery, so far as we were concerned. 

It may be as well to add, however, that Jones's arrant jealousy 
caused him to resort to the lowest trickery to throw discredit upon 
the discovery of my gifted friend. He allowed Major Smythe to prove 
a most conclusive alibi, and then meanly arrested a notorious burglar 
as the thief, on the flimsiest proof, and convicted him. This burglar 
had been caught while trying to pawn some diamonds that seemed to 
be a portion of the plunder taken from 72 Chinchbugge Place. 

Of course, Jones got all the credit. I showed the newspaper accounts 
to Holmes. He only laughed, and said: "You see how it is, Watson; 
Scotland Yard, as usual, gets the glory." As I perceived he was going 
to play "Sweet Marie" on his violin, I reached for the morphine, 

Detective: PURLOCK HONE Narrator: JOBSON 


Shortly after the turn of the century, Oswald Crawjurd re- 
belled against the romantic school of detective fiction, dominated 
at that time by Sherloc\ Holmes and his multitudinous imi- 
tators. Mr. Crawjurd wrote THE REVELATIONS OF INSPECTOR MOR- 
GAN (London, Chapman & Hall, 1906), a collection of four 
realistic detective stories which attempted "to establish the de- 
tective police [of England} in that position of superiority to 
the mere amateur and outsider from which he has been ousted 
in contemporary fiction." 

Mr. Crawjurd went on record to the effect that "the profes- 
sional is a better man than the amateur detective. ... To thin\ 
otherwise is a pestilent heresy" 

During the following year THE REVELATIONS OF INSPECTOR 
MORGAN was published in the United States (New Yor{, Dodd, 
Mead, 7907). For this edition Mr. Crawjurd wrote a special 
Introduction, which is the source of the passages quoted above. 
As a final and irrefutable outburst "of indignation against the 
injustice so long done to the Professional Detective" Mr. Craw- 
jurd wound up his Introduction by taking a roundhouse swing 
at the arch offender, Sherloc^ Holmes. This literary haymaker 
too{ the form of a parody titled "Our Mr. Smith" in which 
The Great Man goes down in utter, ignominious defeat. 

The question remains, after reading "Our Mr. Smith": Just 
what did Mr. Crawjurd prove? 


.FTER a hard day's professional work I was sitting in my little 
room in Baker Street, deeply meditating on a subject never very long 
absent from my thoughts. Reader, you can guess what that subject 


is. I was considering the marvelous analytical faculty of my friend 
Purlock Hone, when the door opened and Purlock Hone himself 
appeared on the threshold. In my accustomed impulsive and ecstatic 
way, not unmingled with that humour which I am proud to say 
tempers the veneration I feel for that colossal intellect, I was beginning 
with the trivial phrase, "Talk of the - -!" when my friend cut me 
short, with "Sh," and put his finger on his lips. 

He sat down by the fire without a word, deposited his hat, gloves 
and handkerchief in the coal scuttle (I have before referred to my 
friend's untidy habits) and reached to the mantelpiece for my favourite 
meerschaum. He filled the pipe with long cut Cavendish, and, sitting 
with knotted brows, smoked it to the end before he spoke a word. 
Then he said: 

"Humph!" It was little enough perhaps, but from Purlock Hone it 

meant volumes. 

"Well?" I said. "Go on." 

He did. He filled the pipe anew, and, for a second time, smoked it 
to the bitter end. 

"Your pipe, Jobson, wants cleaning!" -and he gently threw it upon 
the fire, from which I rescued it before the flames had done it much 
injury. From any one else this action had seemed hasty, if not in- 
considerate; in this gifted and marvellous being it betokened a pro- 
found train of abstract and analytical meditation. I waited patiently 
for some revelation of the subject of his thoughts. 

I need not remind the reader that in the spring of this year the 
world of international politics was gravely agitated. Menacing 
rumours were about everywhere, the international atmosphere was 
electrical and mutterings of the tempest were to be heard on every 
side, but no one could divine where and when the storm would burst 
on whom the bolt would fall. 

Mysterious messages were daily passing between the Dowager 
Empress of China and Kaiser William; what did they portend? 
President Castro of Venezuela was known to be in secret communica- 
tion with the Dalai Lama. Our eminent statesman, Mr. Keir Hardie, 
was said to have despatched an ultimatum to the Emperor of Japan 
and an identical document to President Roosevelt. The aged wife of 
the Second Commissionaire at the Foreign Office (Irish by birth and 
of convivial habits) had made certain compromising revelations of 


the policy of the government in a tavern in Charles Street, West- 
minster, and the Cabinet of St. James's was already tottering to its 


I eagerly recapitulated to my friend these various sources of dis- 
quietude to the nation, to Europe and the World, and urged him 
eagerly to enlighten me as to which of these great world problems he 
was preparing to solve. His answer was characteristic of this remark- 
able man, characteristic at once of his geniality, his simplicity, his 
wonderful self-control, his modesty, and at the same time of his 
refusal, even to me, to commit himself to an avowal. 

"Any one of them, or none or all; I cannot guess," said Pur lock 


My friend could not guess! I forbore from speech, but I smiled 
when I reflected that I was in the presence of the man who had 
more than once interposed to save a British Ministry from defeat, 
who had maintained the balance of power in Europe by discovering 
a stolen naval treaty, nay, of the man who had restored the jewelled 
crown of England when it had been lost for nearly three hundred 


"A penny for your thoughts," said Purlock Hone gaily. "Or, come, 
you shall hear them from me for nothing." 

"I defy you to know what I was thinking of," I said impulsively, 
but a moment later that defiance seemed to me rash, as in truth it 
proved to be. 

"My dear Jobson," said this greatest of clairvoyants, "if you wanted 
me not to guess your thoughts you should not have smiled and looked 
towards the portrait of the late Premier. That told me, as clearly as if 
you had spoken, that you were recalling my little service to the late 
Unionist Government. I suppose you are unconscious of the fact, 
but you distinctly hitched the belt of your trousers as you crossed the 
room, with a sailor-like roll in your walk; what more was needed to 
tell me your thoughts were of my modest success in the matter of the 
lost naval treaty?" 

"Amazing! And the recovery of the Crown of England?" 
"You have tell-tale eyes, Jobson, and you rolled them regally as you 
directed them to the print of His Gracious Majesty over the mantel- 
"Wonderful man! Stupendous perspicacity!" I muttered. 


Purlock Hone filled my rescued pipe for the third time and re- 
sumed his smoking. As in most other things, so in his taste for 
tobacco he resembles no other human being. I happened to know that 
he had not touched a pipe, a cigar, or a cigarette for a month before. 

"Smoking, Jobson, is one of the world's follies. No ordinary man 
needs tobacco. It is poison!" 

"Yet you smoke, Hone, even to excess at times," I said. 

"I said no ordinary man, Jobson," retorted my friend. 

I quailed under the justice of the reproof. Any other man would 
have pressed his victory. He generously forbore. 

"I smoke only when some very heavy work is before me," he went 
on; "not otherwise." 

Then I had guessed aright! He had some great work in hand. Never 
before had I seen so deep a frown between those sagacious eyes, never 
had the thoughtful face been so pale, the whole physiognomy so 
enigmatic. Never had so thick a cloud of tobacco smoke issued from 
between those oracular lips. 

"I expect a visitor," he observed presently, between two puffs of 
tobacco smoke. 

"Where?" I asked. 

"Here," said Hone simply. "I left word at home that any one who 
called at my place was to come on here. Read this!" He tossed a letter 
across the table. I read aloud : 

"Dear Sir: 

I will do myself the pleasure of waiting upon you between five and 

six to-day. 

Yours faithfully, 


"A pregnant communication, Jobson, eh?" 

"I dare say, but I confess I don't see anything peculiar about it." 
I looked again at the letter. It seemed to me as plain an epistle as any 
man could write. A dunning tradesman might have written it a 
tax collector might have subscribed it. 

"What do you make of those t's, Jobson? Does the spacing of the 
words tell you anything? Are those w's and 1's there for nothing?" 

"To me, Hone, they are there for nothing, but then I am not a 
Purlock Hone." 


He smiled as he regarded me with pity, and cocked his left eye, 
using one of those fascinating and favourite actions of his that bring 
him down to the level of our common humanity. 

"It is a disguised hand, Jobson, and do you observe the absence of 
an address?" 

The lucid and enlightened explanation that I expected was cut 
short by a ring at the door bell. Immediately afterwards the maid 
announced Mr. Smith. A little man with grey side whiskers, a neat 
black frock coat and carrying a somewhat gampish silk umbrella, 
entered the room. 

"Be seated, Mr. Smith." The slight pause between the last two 
words of Hone's sentence was eloquent. 

"Which of you two gentlemen is Pur lock Hone, Esquire?" The 
accent on which "Mr. Smith" spoke was cockney and the tone 

I looked to Hone to answer. He smiled upon the stranger. It was a 
smile of complete approval. 
"Admirable!" said my friend. "Pray go on, sir." 
The visitor was visibly taken aback. 

"I asks a plain question, gentlemen, and I looks to get a plain 

"It does you the greatest credit, my dear sir," said Hone. "It would 
pass almost anywhere;" 

The little gentleman with grey side whiskers got red in the face 
and his eyes grew round. He was obviously angry, or was he only 
acting anger? 

My friend Purlock Hone, as I think I have observed before in the 
course of these memoirs, often smiles, but seldom condescends to 

Our visitor coloured violently and struck the end of his umbrella 
on the floor. "Look here," he said, "play-acting is play-acting, but I 
comes here on business; my name is John Smith, and I don't want 
none of your chaff." 

"Capital! Capital! Go on, Mr. Smith!" 

"I will do so, sir, if you please!" The little gentleman put his hand 
in the inner breast pocket of his coat and produced therefrom a blue 
envelope; a quick glance at the superscription showed me that it was 
addressed to my friend and was written in that bold, regular, cursive 


hand which is characteristic of the man engaged in commercial 
pursuits. My interest was now strongly roused. I waited eagerly i 


The mysterious visitor looked from one to the other of us. As you 
two gentlemen refuse to say which of you is Hone, Esquire, I'll mak< 
so bold as to read this communication to the two of you." 

"You may do so with perfect safety, Mr. -Smith. My friend 

in my confidence." 

The little gentleman cast a puzzled look at us both and read as 
follows: "'To Purlock Hone, Esquire, Dear Sir -Our Mr. Smith 
will wait on you in respect of our little account already rendered and 
which you have no doubt overlooked. Early attention to the same wil 

1 1 * ' >* 

oblige. i i j TT- 

The reader paused and looked at my friend. I, too, looked, i 
face was inscrutable, his lips were grimly closed. My curiosity - 
shall I say my indiscretion ? got the better of me. 

"And whose Mr. Smith may you be, sir?" I asked. 

The little man glibly read out the conclusion of the letter: " 'Yours 
obediently, Dear Sir, Jones and Sons; Hatters; Oxford Street' And 
here is the bill, gentlemen. 'To one fancy broad-brimmed sil\ hat- 
cathedral style; - To one clerical soft felt bowler; - To one slouched 
Spanish Sombrero; To one . . . ' 

Purlock Hone raised his hand, as if deprecating a list of furthei 
items, and Mr. Smith stopped and stared at him. 

"What!" I thought. "Is it a real account for hats after all! 1 
remembered all these unusual forms of head-covering having formed 
parts of the various disguises in which my friend had walked the 
streets of London incognito. No! There must be some deep diplomatic 
secret behind the seemingly simple transaction! 

"What is the total amount, Mr. Smith?" asked my friend in muffl 


"Nine, eleven, four, sir." 

Without another word Hone walked across to my writing-table, 
took his cheque book from his pocket, sat down, and wrote and signed 
a cheque for nine pounds eleven shillings and fourpence. 

"There you are, Mr. Smith. No don't trouble to give me a receipt. 
The cheque is to order and Jones & Sons' endorsement will be as 
good as a receipt." 


"Mr. Smith" rose quickly as my friend pronounced these, no doubt, 
pregnant words, bowed, and took his departure with "I wish you 
good morning, gentlemen." He preserved the deprecating attitude and 
the cockney accent of the small tradesman to the very last. 

Purlock Hone preserved a pregnant silence. He slowly rilled my 
pipe for the fourth time with strong Cavendish tobaco. I struck a 
match and handed it to him. It was my tacit tribute of admiration 
to the skill with which this mysterious scene, of evidently the highest 
diplomatic tension, had been played through without a hitch by the 
two great actors concerned. Words would have failed me had I 
attempted to use them. My friend held my wrist while he lit his 
pipe at my match. His hand did not tremble more than mine in- 
deed not so much. 

"Purlock Hone!" I cried with rising enthusiasm, "if I did not 
know that a great diing had passed and that Mr. Smidi was the 
emissary of some great European Power and the bearer of some deep 
international secret, and that you have conveyed a secret reply to 
some European potentate under the pretence of writing a cheque on 
your banker, I could have sworn that Mr. Smith was a dunning 
hatter's assistant, and that you had paid an overdue bill!" 

"Jobson, you know I make a rule never to take you in every 
one else, but not you. Mr. Smith was in point of fact an emissary, but 
only from Jones & Sons of Oxford Street, and I have paid their bill." 

Purlock Hone is one of the few men who can afford to tell the plain 
truth when it is against him. He is great even in defeat! 


CEILING ; ; ; 


On December 2, 1914 the author, then a French soldier, was 
captured by the Germans in Alsace and fax a prisoner of war 
until after the armistice was signed. M. Castier, to put it mildly, 
did not get along with his captors. He passed through "a series 
of imprisonments, court-martials, more imprisonments, re- 
prisals, and the /%." He was even tried once (and sentenced) 

for high treason. 

His greatest solace, M. Castier tells us, lay in reading - 
whenever he was allowed boof^s. Chafing against his detention 
and other troubles, M. Castier hit on the idea of writing a 
sequence of parodies of the authors he had read, and it is one 
of these parodies we now bring you. 

"The Footprints on the Ceiling" is a double-barreled bur- 
lesque of Doyle. It parodies not only Dr. Watson and Sherloc^ 
Holmes, but that other great Doyle character, Professor Chal- 
lenger, as well; and it concerns a disappearance so strange, so 
unique, that it can be described only as "out of this world." 
If the reader is interested in M. Castier' s other parodies of 
Arnold Bennett, G. K. Chesterton, Joseph Conrad, John Gals- 
worthy, E. W. Hornung, W. W. Jacobs, Rudyard Kipling, 
William Le Queux, George Bernard Shaw, Robert Louis Steven- 
son, H. G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, and others he'll find them in 
a volume called RATHER LIKE . . . (London, Jenkins, 1920; Phil- 
adelphia, Lippincott, 1920) . 


, VHEN, some years ago, I attempted to chronicle the stupendous 
adventure of our little group in the "Lost World" of South America, 


and, some time later, its still more amazing episode while the earth 
was passing through the "Poison Belt" of ether, I little thought it 
might be my lot to relate another marvelous occurrence some of us 
were to go through; and I feel it my duty to set it down at once, 
while most of the details are still fresh in my memory. 

It was a warm day in June the fourteenth, as I make out by an 
entry in my notebook that the adventure may be said to begin. I 
had just come out of Mr. MacArdle's office; die kindhearted old Scot 
was about to retire from die post he had occupied so long, that of 
news editor to the Daily Gazette, to which (I say it in all modesty) 
the proprietors had decided to promote me. Old MacArdle had given 
me a few parting words of sound advice, and I was still meditating his 
well-meant remarks while I sat down in my own little office, which 
I was to leave so soon. My brain was full of lingering thoughts of the 
past, mingling with vague plans for the future, when the office boy 
came thundering in, bearing a visiting-card between his none too 
clean fingers. 

"A gentleman to see you, Mr. Malone," he cried, banging the door. 

"Sure it's me he wants to see, and not Mr. MacArdle?" I cautiously 
demanded, not wishing to be disturbed uselessly. 

"He said Mr. Malone, sir," the boy assured me. 

"Well, show him in," I said, looking at the card, which bore the 
printed inscription: DR. WATSON, below which I read, in a barely 
legible handwriting: requests the favor of a few minutes' interview 
with Mr. Malone. Here were the tables turned, indeed! I was all the 
more puzzled, as I knew nothing of this Dr. Watson. I was revolving 
in my mind the several doctors, and the many Watsons, with whom 
I was more or less acquainted, when the door opened again, and a 
plain-faced man evidently a physician was ushered in by the 
irrepressible office boy. 

"How do you do, Mr. Malone?" he said in a singularly oppressed- 
sounding voice, anxiety seeming to pierce through his open lips and 
sallow cheeks. 

"Good afternoon, Dr. Watson," I rejoined. "What may I do for you ? 
I am afraid you must have made a mistake, as " 

"I think not," he hastily interrupted. "I must ask you to excuse me, 
but you are the Mr. Malone, Professor Challenger's friend?" 

"Indeed, I have the honor of his acquaintance," said I, "although 


friendship is, I fear, too presumptuous a word, on my part at least." 
"Well, Mr. Malone," he continued, in gulping torrents of words, 
"I must intrude upon your time to the extent of asking you for an 
introduction to Professor Challenger. It is a matter of life and death. 
I know the eminent scientist and his wife do not care to be inter- 
viewed by strangers, and that is why I appeal to you." 

"Indeed, Dr. Watson," I replied, "I doubt whether Professor Chal- 
lenger would consent to see you at all, even if I were to introduce 

you to him." 

"He is your friend and what I ask is on behalf of a friend ot 
mine, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, of whom you have doubtless heard." 
"I must apologize for my ignorance," I replied. "However, I am 
quite willing to answer your urgent appeal to friendship although 
I have very little confidence in my power to help. The best I can 
do would be, I suppose, to accompany you myself to Professor Chal- 
lenger's: you might explain the matter to me on the way." 

"Mr. Malone," he answered, heaving a deep sigh of relief/'! shall 
indeed be greatly indebted to you, if you can spare the time." 
"Let me see," I mused, "there is a train from Victoria at - 
But he interrupted me at once. 

"I have a forty-horsepower Humber waiting outside, which will 
take us to Rotherfield before we could get there by train." 

"Very well," I replied. "Pray excuse me a moment while I see my 
assistant, and I shall be quite ready for you." 

I found Harper, my assistant, smoking his pipe in the passage, 
and hurriedly told him of my unexpected mission. After which, 
putting on my cap and coat, and throwing a couple of rugs over 
my arm, I rejoined Dr. Watson and was conducted to his car, which 
a smart chauffeur set in motion at once, without even waiting for 
any direction from his master. 

We had hardly set off, however, when I heard my name shouted 
by a voice I could not fail to recognize instantly, while I turned to gaze 
at a tall, thin figure, clad in a gray tweed shooting suit, that emerged 
from a motorcar just a few yards behind ours. 

"Hullo, young fellah!" cried Lord John Roxton. Beside him was 
sitting another tall man, though he had nothing in common with 
his companion: silent and absorbed, he looked more like a human 
mummy than a living being, and the slow beating of the temples 


was the only sign of life he seemed to give. I was waving my hand 
in reply to Lord John when my companion suddenly sprang up in 
his turn, and, pointing towards the second car, cried out excitedly: 
"What, Holmes! You don't mean to say you " 
"My dear Watson," calmly replied my friend's fellow passenger, 
"since we are obviously bound for the same destination, I think we 
could no better than use the same car. Lord John," he continued, 
turning to his companion, "shall we join our friends? I am sure Dr. 
Watson's car will be more comfortable, and faster than our taxi." 
"Right you are," said Lord John, "besides, the more, the merrier." 
Accordingly both vehicles were stopped, Lord John paid his chauf- 
feur, and the little party of four were soon seated in the capacious 
40-H.-P., smoothly running southwards. 

After a few exuberant remarks from Lord John Roxton in his 
most characteristic manner, his companion, looking keenly at me, 
began speaking in a marvelously even and passionless voice. 
"Good day, Mr. Malone." 

"Indeed, Holmes," interrupted his friend, "I am afraid I should 
have introduced you: pray excuse my carelessness . . . Though how 
you immediately hit on Mr. Malone's name seeing you don't know 
him, and absolutely ignored what I was about to do I really fail 
to see." 

"Marvelous!" exclaimed Lord John. "Most astonishin', I call it." 
"It is the simplest thing imaginable," Holmes calmly proceeded, 
turning to me. "It is obvious you are a journalist: your pockets are 
crammed with notebooks, and I see a Waterman peeping out of your 
waistcoat pocket; the second finger of your right hand is somewhat 
horny on the left side an evident sign of active use of pen and 
pencil; there are a few ink-stains on your coat sleeves where oc- 
casionally you dab your pen to rid it of any small encumbrance it 
may have caught; you are somewhat shortsighted a sign of much 
reading or writing. Moreover, I see copies of the Daily Gazette 
protruding not only from your coat, but also between the rugs over 
your arm which makes it quite evident that you are on the staff 
of that paper. Now I see you with my friend Watson, who is greatly 
concerned with the fate of Professor Challenger . . . Challenger has 
very few journalist friends; in fact, the only one is Mr. Malone: a 
child would deduce your identity." 


"Absolutely rippin'!" exclaimed Lord John; while I was too much 

amazed for words. 

"By the way," continued this remarkable man, turning to i 
companion, "let me congratulate you on your movements, my dear 
Watson. It was indeed most thoughtful of you to enlist the service 
of Mr Malone, who is one of the two only men now in England with 
the power of securing an introduction to Professor Challenger. J 
was about to look him up myself at his office, when, by a lucky chance 
I met Lord John Roxton, whom, of course, I instantly recognize 
from the description given in Mr. Malone's narratives." 

"Yes," put in my friend, "extraordinary it was, too, seem yo 
never even set eyes on me before." 

"A simple instance of deduction, aided by memory, 

Sherlock Holmes. 
Now, however, I turned to him and his friend, with questioning 

f*\t *Q 

"Perhaps," said I, "you could now explain the object of your mis- 
sion- for I cannot conceal my astonishment." 

"Right you are, young fellah," echoed Lord John. ' Come now, 
gentlemen, will you kindly explain?" 

' "You have a perfect right to know everything," answered 
Watson, "and as we have some time before us, I think there is no 
reason whatever for withholding the explanation any longer. You 
must know, then, that Professor Challenger has disappeared." 
The effect of this revelation was startling on both of us. 
"What!" exclaimed Lord John, "a man of his size, disappearin' 
in the middle of a civilized country!" 
"It is indeed incredible," I cried out. 

"I received the news from his old chauffeur, Austin," Holmes said, 
"and immediately started on my investigation. At the present moment 
I happen to know a few data concerning the case: for instance, the 
person whom I suspect of having absconded with the professor is a 
small man, with blond hair and long fingernails; he must be in some 
great distress, and was formerly a creature of higher standard, now 
evidently fallen somewhat in the social and moral scale. I hope 
lay my hands on him at no very future date, but in order to do so, 
I must examine Professor Challenger's abode with some care 
is why I set out to find you, Mr. Malone, little dreaming that I shoi 


first meet Lord John Roxton, and still less that my friend Dr. Watson 
would be simultaneously and successfully engaged on the same 

"Holmes," excitedly exclaimed Dr. Watson, "accustomed to your 
deductive methods as I am, I am quite overwhelmed by all this in- 
formation about the unknown blackguard on whose track we all of 
us are now set! How on earth has it been possible for you to get at 
it? Have you discovered some new clue since I left you?" 

"None whatever," calmly rejoined this remarkable man. "I know 
nothing more than you we were together when the chauffeur 
rushed into my rooms in Baker Street, and related his master's strange 

"Why, dash it all," Lord John cried out, "it's clean marvelous!" 

"Indeed," I hastily added, "you might do us the favor of explaining 
something of your process, Mr. Holmes." 

"It is the simplest thing imaginable," he answered. "All the data 
were inferred from Austin's visit. You may recollect the man: of 
middle height, none too strong, though indubitably tough, and 
eminently impassive. From these characteristics, it is evident that the 
kidnaper is a small man " 

"My dear Holmes!" ejaculated the doctor. 

"Of course, my dear fellow," continued his friend. "If he had been 
tall and strong, or only of medium height and strength, he would 
certainly have seen to it that Austin be removed, and put out of the 
possibility of telling tales. Austin was left free: ergo the kidnaper is 
physically his inferior. The color of his hair, and the abnormal length 
of his fingernails, were immediately deduced by a casual glance at 
the cap Austin wore it was not his own, as I at once remarked; you 
may recollect he said, in reply to one of my questions, it was one of 
his master's; well, the cap was strewn with long, fair, reddish hairs, 
and bore marks of tearing, which could only have been accomplished 
by fingernails: I have studied the question in some detail; the tech- 
nicalities may, of course, be found in my pamphlet on the subject 
and I am perfectly sure of my conclusion." 

"Rippin'!" exclaimed Lord John Roxton. 

"But how could you deduce the moral and social part of your 
inference?" I asked, admiration for this deductive genius not yet 
quenching my thirst for his secrets. 


"Equally simple, Mr. Malone," he answered, smiling. "First of 
all, it is quite clear no one would dream of. absconding with a man 
like Professor Challenger if he could possibly do otherwise; hence 
the great distress. Moreover, the fact of kidnaping a man of such 
acknowledged genius points to a certain intellectual and moral 
standard: the common criminal would kidnap a millionaire, and hold 
him for ransom but not a scientist: and last of all, our man has 
certainly fallen rather low in the moral and social scale, else he would 
visibly not have reverted to such extreme measures . . . You see, it 
is all perfectly simple." 

"You beat Euclid hollow," roared Lord John. "Don't you think so, 

young fellah?" 

"As far as I can remember," I answered, smiling ruefully, "Euclid 
only deduces things that everybody knew already, or ought to know, 
whereas Mr. Holmes makes the whole invisible effect appear under 
the full limelight of the cause." 

"Very neatly put, I'm sure," added Dr. Watson. "But here, unless 
I am mistaken, we are at our journey's end." 

At some distance behind us, peering over a clipped hedge, was 
Professor Challenger's so unhospitable notice-board. We were passing 
between the posts of a gate, and at the end of a drive hedged in with 
rhododendron bushes, the familiar brick house peered smilingly at 
us that is, at least at two of us. 

Entering the house, we were met by little Mrs. Challenger, as 
dainty as ever, though her eyes were red with recent crying, and 
her whole face bore the marks of the anxiety and sorrow she had 
undergone. She came up to Lord John and myself, while a look of 
gratitude and hope passed, for an instant, across her careworn features. 
' "Oh. Lord John, and you, Mr. Malone!" she exclaimed in a voice 
bordering between tears and joy. "How kind of you to come to me 
in my distress! I would not have dared to trouble you myself, but 1 
cannot express my relief at seeing you here." 

"It's all right, my dear Mrs. Challenger," cheerfully replied Lord 
John Roxton. "Although Malone and I are little good, I'm afraid, 
we've brought you a rippin' friend in need, who'll find the professor 
in half the time it'd take me to stalk a buffalo ... May I introduce 
you to Mr. Sherlock Holmes, and to Dr. Watson, his friend? . . . 
Gentlemen, Mrs. Challenger." 


She shook hands gratefully with both of them, and was speaking 
some words of welcome to the latter, when I noticed that Holmes 
had disappeared. Dr. Watson immediately excused his friend's ap- 
parent impropriety, on the plea that he was already following some 
clue to the mystery. All three of us then followed her into the cozy 
boudoir where we had passed such memorable hours while the world 
was passing through the Poison Belt. 

She had begun to relate her husband's strange disappearance, which 
had occurred on the preceding day. The professor had retired to his 
study after breakfast, as usual, and when Austin, as was his habit, 
knocked at the door to announce lunch, he had received no answer; 
the faithful chauffeur had finally entered the study, only to find 
himself in an empty room. His master had said nothing of leaving, or 
even of going out; indeed, nobody had left the house, through the 
door, at any rate. Having reached this point in her narrative, Mrs. 
Challenger broke down, and it was only by our combined efforts 
that she finally managed to recover her composure, though her eyes 
filled with tears. 

Suddenly the door was thrown open, and Sherlock Holmes, keen 
and alert, burst into the room, walking straight up to Dr. Watson. 

"Watson," he said in that calm and passionless voice of his, though 
it was easy to see he was tingling with excitement, "would you be 
so kind as to give me. some information concerning Zeeman's phe- 
nomenon? I have, myself, dabbled somewhat in science, but I am 
afraid I have no recollection of this apparently recently discovered 
notion, and I apply to you as to the scientist of our party." 

"My dear Holmes," replied Watson, visibly disappointed, "I'm 
sure I utterly fail to see what Zeeman's phenomenon has to do with 
your case. Indeed, I am afraid it is somewhat outside the range of a 
mere physician. Nevertheless, I may tell you broadly what it is. 
Zeeman was the first to discover that all the colors and lines re- 
vealed by spectral analysis are actually deviated by some influences 
amongst others, by a strong magnetic field." 

"Then I have it!" exclaimed Holmes, himself moved to some 
display of excitement his voice no longer suppressed. 

"What?" Mrs. Challenger cried out. "You mean you have 
found . . ." 
"Professor Challenger will be amongst us within a few minutes," 


he resumed, in tones once more void of any emotion. "Gentlemen, I 
request you to follow me into the scientist's study. Pray excuse us, 

Madam." . . ( 

The four of us found ourselves in the familiar study, a loc 
amazement on the faces of all save Sherlock Holmes, who began in 
an even voice: "I must first of all confess that I was completely wrong 
about the results I told you of on the way here; I was completely 
misled by appearances, which only proves that one should never 
work on preconceived ideas. However, I am happy to say 
covered my mistake as soon as I entered this room." 

"How on earth could the simple aspect of this room account tor 
such a change?" muttered Dr. Watson, turning his puzzled face 

towards his friend. 

"Look," replied Holmes, pointing first to the ceiling, and 
a mass of papers strewn about the scientist's desk. "The ceiling un- 
questionably bears footprints ... And these papers all contain dia- 
grams and rough jottings, where the words Zeeman's phenomenon 
ever recur. Here " he pointed towards a little case attached to t 
wa ll _ "is an electric switch commanding an electro-magnet in the 
laboratory (as the inscription says) : you may notice the current is 
now on. On further investigation, I ascertained that the current con- 
sumed since the Company's last visit (which happens to have been 
yesterday) is no less than 2000 Kwh. ... The missing link in this 
remarkable chain of evidence was given me just now by Watson's 
explanation of Zeeman's phenomenon and now Professor 
lenger will instantly return." 

All three of us were too dumfounded to understand; what Sherlock 
Holmes called a chain of evidence was an inextricable labyrinth to 
me, and I was just about to set a question, when I saw him jump 
forward, and calmly switch off the electric current. Immediately the 
silence seemed intensified; we gazed spellbound at one another, and 
suddenly a massive form was visible, apparently dropping out of 
nowhere, in the region of the ceiling. 

Holmes was the first to act. He sprang forth, and clutched at the 
apparition, from which a bellowing yell issued at the same time. 1 
came nearer in my turn, and was able to make out a black beard, a 
huge head, with a broad forehead and a dark plaster of black hair, 
then two clear gray eyes, with their insolent eyelids and suddenly 


I recognized the missing man. Holmes, lithe as a panther, caught him 
in his arms, and instantly set him on his feet. 

"Hullo! What the devil do you mean? Now my young friend, 
what is all this?" How inexpressibly glad I was to hear the familiar 

"Why, Herr Professor!" cried out Lord John. 

"Yes, himself," came Challenger's sonorous bass and suddenly 
perceiving the two others, he went on: "And may I ask who these 
intruders are?" 

"Dear Professor Challenger," I tried to calm him, "these gentlemen 
came here with Lord John and myself, and have just solved the 
mystery of your disappearance " 

"My disappearance?" he vigorously interrupted. "How can I have 
disappeared, when I was simply trying a little experiment on Zeeman's 
phenomenon? Pray answer that, sir yes, you, I mean!" And he 
turned savagely towards Sherlock Holmes. 

Our remarkable friend calmly met his gaze. "May I ask you what 
day you make it out to be, Professor Challenger?" he inquired. 

"What day?" bellowed die irate scientist. "Tell you what day it 
is? Yes, sir, I can: it is the i3th of June, and it also happens to be" 

here he looked at his watch "3:35 P.M." 

"As a matter of fact," replied Holmes, "you happen to be wrong 

which is only natural after your adventure: it is not the I3tli but 
the 1 4th; you have been absent from our planet for something over 
twenty-seven hours." 

"Extraordinary!" muttered Lord John Roxton. 

"Incredible!" I could not help exclaiming. 

"Would you mind explaining your meaning, which appears some- 
what blurred to my feeble intellect?" asked Challenger, taking up 
his thundering irony. 

"Nothing is easier," said Sherlock Holmes. "Yesterday morning, 
you came into your study, and started experimenting about Zeeman's 
phenomenon. You switched the current into a hyper-powerful 
electromagnet, evidently not thinking of the enormous amount of 
iron a human body of your dimensions must contain or the tre- 
mendous effect the magnetic field might have upon the spectrum such 
a body would absorb. In short, Zeeman's phenomenon deviated that 
spectrum farther than could have been expected and you followed 


it, quite unconsciously, into space or into ether. Those are the 
traces of your passage," he added, pointing to the footmarks on the 
ceiling. "It is quite simple, as you see, my dear Watson . . , And 
now, gentlemen, let us return to Mrs. Challenger." 

Detective: SHERLOCK HOLMES Narrator : WATSON 


by A. E. P. 

So far in this Procession of Pastiches you have mis adventured 
with Sherloc{ Holmes the sleuth. Now we bring you The 
Great Man in an entirely different role as the father of a 
three-year-old child-prodigy. 

Sympathize with our harassed, heartsick^ hero the sire of 
a satanically sapient sprout a chip of the old blocJ^, in spades. 
It is a shocking spectacle, this deflation of a once dynamic 
demigod, this collapse of Colossus, this toppling of a Titan. For 
here we see Holmes a stricken, suffering shadow of himself, 
in dire dismay not of a modern and more murderous Monarty 
but of his own odious offspring. 

Many hours of research have failed to reveal the identity of 
A. E. P. 1 who remains regretfully the anonymous Ananias of 
our anthology. 

This unusual pastiche first appeared in "The Manchester 
Guardian" issue of July j, 7927 and on this side of the Atlantic 
in "The Living Age" issue of August 15, 7927. There is reason 
to believe that the original title was "Sherloc^ Holmes Finds 
Himself Out-Holmesed" 

Other instances dealing with the scion of Sherloc\ include 
John Kendric\ Bangs 's Raffles Holmes, who was the "son" of 
Sherloc\ and the "grandson" of Raffles (see page i<)i, with foot- 
note) ; and Sherloc\ Holmes, Jr., the hero of a color-comic series 
that appeared in the Sunday supplements of many American 
newspapers between 1911 and 1914, drawn by no less a person 
than Sidney Smith, the creator of the famous "Gumps." There 
is also Frederic Arnold Kummer's and Basil Mitchell's Shirley 

iMr. Starrett inquires: "Could A. E. P. possibly be Allan Edgar Poe?" A most in- 
genious theory! 


Holmes, daughter of Sherloc^, assisted by Joan Watson, daugh- 
ter of Dr. Watson, in THE ADVENTURE OF THE QUEEN BEE and 
"The Canterbury Cathedral Murder' (see page 

[The following account of the real reason for Holmes's retirement 
was found among Dr. Watson's private papers after his death. It is 
not dated, but from internal evidence (noticeably the mention < 
ladies' hat pins) it may be placed about 1903-1905.] 

IT WAS my intention to close these memoirs with the remarkable 
chain of circumstances resulting in the marriage of my friend Sher- 
lock Holmes with Miss Falkland. For some time after that event my 
friend gave up professional work and went abroad with his wife. 
Our rooms in Baker Street were of course destroyed, and my practice 
occupied my full time, and certainly prospered all the better for re- 
ceiving my undivided attention. From time to time, however, he 
would be recalled to my memory by some startling and unexplained 
case claiming my attention in the morning's paper; and in the "un- 
foreseen circumstances" and "unexpected turn of events" or remark- 
able instances of fresh light being thrown on some obscure point 
would recognize my friend's unparalleled genius, though, with 
characteristic modesty, his name never appeared. 

For instance, there was the remarkable case of the Hereditary 
Princess of Sthoit-Leinengen, which culminated in a royal divorce; 
and the still more recent affair of the Grand-Nurse-in-Waiting's tame 
monkey, which made such a stir and resulted in the suicide of a 
Russian Consul. It was when public excitement was at its height over 
the great Bribery Case in connection with the Pope's birthday cele- 
brations, and suspicion had settled on a well-known workhouse 
official, that I again received intimation that Holmes was in England. 
I had just come in from a long round when the maidservant brought 
in a note whose appearance struck me at once as familiar. As I tore 
it open I mechanically noticed that it was written on cream-laid paper, 
with a printed address, and that the stamp was in the right-hand top 
corner of the envelope. This lapse into long-forgotten habit made me 


think of Holmes, and I was not surprised to recognize his signature 
at the foot of the sheet. 

"Dear Watson," it ran : "Can you come round to the old place at 
3 P.M. to-morrow ? Yours, S. H." 

I hastily scribbled an acceptance, and the following day, having 
turned over my practice to my assistant and locked the dispensary 
door for fear of accidents, I hailed a "City Atlas" and soon found 
myself en route for Baker Street. (Holmes had taken rooms just 
above our former locality.) 

The door was opened by a tired-looking maid. I entered, and 
encountered the gaze of a child about three years of age. He was 
wearing a miniature dressing gown, and had just been taking an 
impression of the cat's foot in a piece of dough. 

Before I had time to speak he had crawled rapidly and noiselessly 
up the stairs and announced me : "Pa, there's a man to see you." 

"Who is it?" answered Holmes's voice, and I was struck by the 
weariness of his tone. 

"He's a doctor, poor, and he's got a wife, but she is away. He came 
up in the omnibus, it was very full, a lady got in too, but he didn't 
get up to let her have his seat, same as he ought to," said this re- 
markable child. 

I entered in response to Holmes's invitation. The apartment was 
thick with tobacco smoke and Holmes was listlessly repairing a 
string in his violin. He held out his hand with something of his old 
heartiness, but there was a tired look in his eyes I did not like. 

"Ah, Watson, I'm glad to see you again." Then, following the 
direction of my glance, "This is my son Sherlock, come and say 
'How do you do?' to the gentleman." 

"He's quite well, he did have a cold, but that is quite well too, and 
he didn't put nothin' in the bag las' Sunday," finished this remarkable 
infant. I turned to Holmes in amazement. 
"But how on earth " 

"Oh, he knows," said my friend rather bitterly; "there isn't much 
he can't see. But it is your professional assistance I want you for now." 
Holmes was not the man to take such a step lightly, and my gravest 
fears were aroused. I glanced keenly at him. His eyes were closed, 
his temperature was normal, but the pulse was beating in quick 
irregular jerks, and symptoms pointed to a slight cerebral congestion; 


an application of the stethoscope showed me at a glance his nerves 
were all to pieces. He languidly turned up his sleeve. 

"No," I said firmly, laying my hand upon a small hypodermic 
syringe he had taken from a pocket of his dressing gown, "I cannot 
allow any more morphia; you only need rest and a complete change." 
"Heaven knows you're right, Watson, my dear fellow, but how 
the deuce am I to get it? Can you tell me that?" 
I felt that here was something more than appeared on the surface. 
"What is it that prevents you not Moriarty again?" 
Holmes looked at me in something of his old manner. "Watson, 
Watson, when shall I teach you to eliminate the obviously impos- 
sible? We have already twice disposed of Moriarty once in the 
Strand, and again at the Lyceum; you will remember the circum- 
stances very well." He sighed. "No, it is not Moriarty." 

His eyes wandered to his son, who was scraping the sole of a 
shoe and examining the matter so obtained by the aid of a powerful 
lens. "It was Martha meddled with my specimens, and she said it 
was the cat," the infant announced conclusively. His face darkened, 
and he crawled off after the offending Martha. 
Holmes turned to me. "What do you make of it, Watson?" 
I hesitated. "It is evident he has your talents; it must be very grati- 

"Watson, it is killing me. All day long and every hour of the day 
he is at it. My wife has broken down nervous system entirely 
shattered; no one will visit us; we can't keep a servant they won't 
put up with it." 

"Surely," I said, "it is not so bad as that; he is only a baby " 
Holmes smiled bitterly. "He contrives to do a good deal in his 
way. He told the Dean's wife her husband had been married before, 
and that her diamonds were not real. He took the opportunity of 
announcing at an At Home that Sir Ronald's grandfather was a 
tailor in Stepney, that he made his money in patent pills, and that 
he was afraid of his valet. He took an impression in wax of the 
vicar's thumb and subsequently told him that his sermons were not 
his own, that he had some money on Daystar at the St. Leger, that 
his niece was a sempstress, and that his brother-in-law was doing 
time for forgery. He tracked the area policeman for over three weeks 
to find out where he went when he was off duty and he told the 


tax collector his back teeth were false. You have seen for yourself he 
is after Martha now. She'll give notice next." 

"Why don't you keep him in the nursery?" 

"They can't. He outwits them in every possible way. No, there is 
only one thing to be done: I must take on the job myself. Watson, 
Watson, if you are a truthful person you will faithfully recount this 
in the memoirs you are giving to the public. I who have baffled 
Moriarty, I who have had a hand in unravelling most of the mysteries 
that have perplexed Europe, with knowledge enough of the seamy 
side of courts and the back doors of politics to bring about a European 
war I am now compelled to turn all my energies to circumventing 
my own son; and, Watson, it is killing me." 

He plunged his hands deep in his dressing-gown pockets, and his 
chin fell on his breast. 

I crept out softly and closed the door. 

Detective: SOLAR PONS Narrator: PARKER 



August Derleth, the youthful sage of Sau\ City, is a Guggen- 
heim Fellow of 1938 and special lecturer in American Regional 
Literature at the University of Wisconsin. One of the most 
prolific writers in the United States, Mr. Derleth averages from 
750,000 to 1,000,000 words per year, and his range is incredibly 
catholic from serious novels, poetry, and biography to weird 
tales (his first efforts but still an active part of his wor^) and 
detective stories. 

Mr. Derleth was born in 1909, began writing at the age of 
thirteen, published at fifteen, and now in the mellow maturity 
of middle-thirties is engaged in one of the most ambitious 
literary projects ever attempted the saga of Sac Prairie. This 
gargantuan wor\ will comprise more than fifty booJ^s of which 
thirteen have already been published. Mr. Derleth compares the 
scope of his epic to Balzac's COMEDIE HUMAINE (HUMAN COMEDY) 

In his literary adolescence Mr. Derleth was incurably bitten 
by the Holmesian bug. He wrote a series of 18 tales 14 short 
stories, i short novel, and 3 unfinished short stories all rever- 
ently imitating the Sacred Writings. Of this series your Editors 
have selected "The Adventure of the Norcross Riddle" as typi- 
cal of Mr. Derleth 's sincere homage at the Shrine of Sherlock^. 
Internal evidence 1 places the writing of "The Norcross Riddle" 
in 7928 when Mr. Derleth was only nineteen years old. How 
many budding authors, not even old enough to vote, could have 
captured the spirit and atmosphere with as much fidelity? It 

1 The age of Mr. Manton: deduce for yourself as you read the story. 


proves how deeply Sir Arthur's magic enchanted youthful 

Mr. Derleth is to be credited with one innovation. Writers of 
pastiches are usually content to retain the grand old name in 
its perfect form. Mr. Derleth elected to create a variant and 
his choice of the euphonic "Solar Pans" is an appealing addition 
to the fascinating lore of Sherlocfyan nomenclature. 



__ .HE SCIENCE of deduction rests primarily on the faculty of ob- 
servation," said Solar Pons, looking thoughtfully at me with his keen 
dark eyes, the ghost of a smile at his thin, firm lips. 

"Perhaps you're right," I answered, "but I find that much of my 
so-called observation arises out of intuition. What do you make of 

Pons chuckled. "I don't deny it. We are all intuitive in varying 
degrees. But for accuracy in conclusions, observation must stand 
first." He turned and rummaged through the papers scattered on 
the table beside his chair; from among them he drew an ordinary 
calling card, which he tossed over to me. "What does your intuition 
make of that?" 

The card bore an embossed legend: MR. BENJAMIN HARRISON MAN- 
TON, and in one corner, in smaller print, NORCROSS TOWERS. I turned it 
over. The caller had written on its back Will call at three. 

"My observation tells me that the gentleman used a broad-point 
pen; die character of the writing indicates that he is firm and steady. 
I see he uses the Roman e consistently; my intuition tells me he is 
an intelligent man." 

Pons's smile widened, and he chuckled again. 

"What do you make of it?" I asked, somewhat nettled. 

"Oh, little more," replied Pons matter-of-factly, "except that the 
gentleman is an American by birth, but has resided in England for 
some length of time; he is a man of independent means, and is be- 
tween thirty-five and thirty-nine years of age. Furthermore, his an- 
cestry is very probably southern United States, but his parents were 
undoubtedly members of the American Republican political party." 

"You have seen the man!" 


"Nonsense!" Pons picked up the card. "Observe :-- The name 
Manton is more common to the southern part of the United States 
than to any other region; undoubtedly it is English in ancestry. In 
that part of the States, political sentiment is very largely Democratic, 
but it is not amiss to suggest that Manton's parents were Republican 
in sentiment, since they named him after a Republican president." 

"Well, that is simple," I admitted. 

"Precisely, Parker. But there is no intuition about it. It is mere 
observation. Now test yourself; tell me how I know he is of inde- 
pendent means." 

"He calls at three," I ventured. "Certainly if he were not of inde- 
pendent means he could not break into an afternoon like that." 

"He might well get away from his work to visit us," objected Pons. 
"Examine the card more closely." 

"Well, it is embossed; that is a more expensive process than simple 


"Good, Parker. Come, you are getting there!" 

"And the card itself is of very fine quality, though not pretentious." 
I held it up against the window. "Imported paper, I see. Italian." 


"But how do you know he has lived in England for some time?" 

"That is most elementary of all. The gentleman has purchased or 
rented a country place, possibly an abandoned English home, for 
'Norcross Towers' is certainly the name of a country house." 

"But his age!" I protested. "How can you know the man's age 
merely by glancing at his calling card?" 

"That is really absurdly simple, Parker. In the States it is con- 
sidered fashionable even today to name children after the president 
in office at the time of the child's birth; doubtless the American 
tendency to hero worship plays its part in that, too. Harrison was 
president from 1889 to 1893; hence it follows that our man was born 
in one of the four years of Harrison's term. The age is more likely 
to be thirty-nine years, because the tendency to name children in 
such fashion is strongest during the inaugural period." 

I threw up my hands. "The contest is yours!" 

Pons smiled. "Well, here it is three o'clock, and I should not be 
surprised if our client is at the door." 
As he spoke, there was a steady ring at the doorbell and, after the 


usual preliminary of shuffling feet on the stairs, Mrs. Johnson finally 
ushered into our rooms a youngish, black-haired man, whose smooth- 
shaven face was partly concealed by large, horn-rimmed glasses with 
dark panes. He was clothed in the best fashion, and as he stood before 
us, leaning on his stick, he held in his hand a motoring cap, indicating 
that he had come some distance possibly from his country place. 

Our visitor looked from one to the other of us, but, before Mrs. 
Johnson had closed the door behind her, he had fixed his gaze on 
Pons, and it was to him he now addressed himself. 

"You are Mr. Solar Pons?" he asked in a low, well-modulated 


Pons nodded. "Please be seated, Mr. Manton." 

"Thank you." With simple dignity our visitor seated himself and 
immediately threw a dubious glance in my direction. 

"My assistant, Dr. Parker," said Pons. "Anything you say is emi- 
nently safe with him." 

Manton nodded to me and gave his attention again to Pons. "The 
matter about which I have come to consult you is one of disturbing 
mystery. I don't know that anything criminal is at its root, and I 
cannot afford to have any word of it leak out." 

"You have our confidence," Pons assured him. 

Manton nodded abstractedly, and for a few moments he was 
silent, as if trying to decide where to begin. Finally, however, he 
looked up frankly, and began to speak. "The matter concerns my 
country estate, Norcross Towers, which fell into my hands a little 
over six months ago. I might say that it was purchased to please my 
wife, who had lived there before I married her, and is again mistress 
of her old home. I have been very fortunate in business, and I am 
able to keep both town and country houses; but since I am usually 
kept in the city, I don't often have time to join my wife at Norcross 


"However, a month ago I drove to the Towers for a short vacation. 
Though the estate had been in my possession for some months, I 
had not yet had time to go over it thoroughly, and this I now set 
about to do. One of the first places to attract my attenion was the 
fens, which had claimed the life of my wife's first husband." 

Pons, who had been sitting with closed eyes, looked suddenly at 
our visitor. "Are the fens on your estate called 'Mac's Fens'?" 


Manton nodded. "They were named after my wife's first husband 
by the natives in that country." 

"Then your wife was Lady McFallon." 

"I married her six months after her husband's tragic death." 
"Scott McFallon was the man who with one servant and his hounds 
set off across the fens near his home and sank in a bog. His servant, 
I understand, pointed out the exact spot where he went down." 
Manton nodded again. "Yes, that is quite right." 
"Go on with your story, Mr. Manton." 

"The fens," Manton resumed, "are quite large and, in common 
with most fens, almost entirely marshland, with a few scattered 
patches of firm ground. On this considerable tract of land stand the 
ruins of a very old building at one time used as an abbey. It is of 
stone, and one wing of the place has a kind of intactness. I had taken 
it into my head to examine this ruin, and I started out alone for it 
one afternoon in my car; I had had a road built to wind through the 
fens to the village of Acton, to reach which previously it had always 
been necessary to make a wide detour. The new road was open to 
the public, of course. 

"As I drove toward the ruin, it occurred to me that I had forgotten 
to instruct my secretary about a business matter of some importance; 
so I decided to drive straight on to Acton and wire him, examining 
the ruin on my return. But dusk had already fallen when I returned, 
and I had no intention of prowling about the building with a flash- 
light. Just as I was approaching my home, a car came speeding past 
me, going in the direction of Acton. I thought nothing of it then, 
for' it was possible that someone was taking this convenient short 
cut to the village, though it is not often used." 
"You made a note of the car?" 

"Not definitely. It was a large touring car a Daimler, I thought; 
but I could not be sure. However, I did see three people in the car, 
for I noticed this especially because one of them seemed to be ill." 
"What gave you that impression?" 

"He was sitting in the rear seat with a companion, and was almost 
completely covered with rugs and coats. As I flashed by, it seemed 
to me that his companion was trying to soothe him." 
Pons nodded, and indicated that Manton was to continue. 
"I speedily forgot this incident, and went into the house for dinner. 


Throughout the meal, I observed that my wife ate very little, and I 
became alarmed at the thought that something troubled her. I had 
noticed something like this before a certain uneasiness and nerv- 
ousness but had put it down to some passing physical disorder. I 
could now see, however, that she was deliberately trying to appear 
normal, and eat dinner as if she were perfectly herself. This is un- 
usual for my wife; she is a remarkably straightforward woman, and 
illness in the past has always caused her to refrain from taking heavy 
meals. I asked her whether she felt ill, and whether I could do any- 
thing, but she denied that she was ill, and only redoubled her efforts 
to appear at her ease. 

"I tried to forget this incident, and retired to my study, where my 
wife shortly followed me. Now, Mr. Pons, my study overlooks the 
moor, and is in a direct line with the ruins. I was sitting directly 
opposite a low window facing the ruin when I closed my book at 
about ten o'clock. Judge my surprise, gentlemen, to see in this ruin 
two lights, one of which was put out even as I looked. Presently the 
other began to move, going from one room to another, according to 
its appearance, among those which were left intact in the wing still 
standing. Then it, too, was put out. 

"My wife, meanwhile, had caught my look, and since she sat op- 
posite me and could not see the lights, she asked what I saw. 'There's 
someone in the ruin,' I said. 

"I caught an exclamation from her, and then in some confusion 
she said, 'Oh, I forgot to tell you, but I rented the ruin for two 

"I was astonished, but I recovered quickly enough, and asked to 
whom she had rented it. There was quite a pause before she replied, 
with some apprehension, that she had rented it to a professor of 
psychiatry who had brought a lunatic and his keeper out there for 
the purpose of isolated observation of his patient. Though I had 
been somewhat upset at first, I now recalled the car which had 
passed me on my homeward way that evening, and I assumed at 
once that the sick man was none other than the psychiatrist's patient. 
I could not forbear suggesting to my wife that she might first have 
consulted me, whereupon she seemed hurt and said that we could 
put them out. Of course, I would not hear of it. 
" Td like to have a talk with the professor, though,' I said. 


" 'I wouldn't disturb them, Benjamin,' she answered. 
" 'Oh, I don't suppose there's any harm in going out there. After 
all, it's our property and they're our tenants temporarily.' 

'"But there's no need to disturb them, Benjamin,' my wife in- 

"I could not help feeling that for some reason unknown t 
wife did not want me to go to the ruin, but as I said no more, the 
matter was closed for the time being. Shortly afterward, I went to 
bed. My wife usually stays up quite late, reading and embroidering, 
and I thought nothing of her staying up that night. 

"Sometime during the night, I was awakened by the sound 
tapping on glass somewhere about the house. I am a very light 
sleeper, and I sat up in bed to listen. I heard a window open down- 
stairs. I looked at my watch; it was a quarter of twelve. Then I re- 
membered that in all probability my wife was still in the study. 1 
called down to her from my doorway, and Anna answered at once. 
Reassured, I returned to bed. 

"Next day, my wife asked for a thousand pounds. L hough it 
means little to me as money, this sum rather staggered me, and I 
was naturally curious to know what Anna wanted with so large a 
check. She evaded all my questions with banter, but I believed 
would most likely learn to whom Anna signed over the check; so I 
gave it to her. When the check came back a month later, I discovered 
that Anna had cashed it at my bank, and that in consequence I knew 
nothing of where the money might have gone. 

"Last night another chapter in this curious puzzle took place. As 
before, I was awakened close to midnight by the sound of tapping 
on a window, but this time I slipped from the room into the hall 
just after the window was opened. I went down the stairs as the 
window was closed again. Below me, I could see my wife's shadow, 
cast by the lamplight in the room, and distorted by the firelight from 
the hearth. To me it seemed that she was reading something, but my 
thoughts were interrupted by a low moan from her. At the same in- 
stant I saw her fall to the floor. She fell toward the fireplace, and I 
ran to her assistance. 

"She had fainted. As I bent forward, I caught sight of what she 
had been reading; it had fallen from her hand into the fire, and was 
now almost entirely consumed. Nevertheless, I snatched it, put out 


the fire with my hands, and on the corner of paper as yet untouched 
by the flames, I read: five thousand pounds at once . . . what will 
happen /'/... disconnected certainly, but enough to assure me 
that my wife was an unwilling party to some conspiracy. I thought 
immediately of the thousand pounds of the previous month, and of 
the ruin on the fens, which I feel instinctively is connected with the 
mystery in some fashion. The inhabitants of the ruin have never been 
seen; by day there is no sign of life about the place. 

"My wife, meanwhile, was coming around, and as she regained 
consciousness, she looked toward the fireplace; this made me de- 
termine to say nothing about the note, for I felt that if she wanted 
me to know about it, she would speak. She did not. I could think 
only that some diabolical circumstances were keeping her from con- 
fiding in me. There can be no question of doubtful conduct on her 
part; I know that as only a husband can know that. I have had 
countless proofs of her devotion to me, and I hope I have given her 
all reason to feel that I love her fully as much. 

"This morning, Mr. Pons, my wife asked for five thousand pounds. 
I quibbled a little, but in the end I handed over the money. Then I 
came directly to the city and poured out my story to Lord Crichton, 
who advised me to come to you as a man of the utmost discretion. 
I left my card on my first visit. Now that you have heard my story, 
perhaps you could come to visit us say as friends of mine in the 
trade and see what you can make of the matter at close range." 

Manton leaned back and watched Pons. 

"The matter certainly has points of interest," mused Pons. "I see 
no reason to forego it." 

"Can you come with me at once?" 

"I believe we can. But first, a few questions." 

"Go right ahead, Mr. Pons." 

"I am under the impression that before her first marriage, your 
wife was the young social leader, Anna Renfield. Has it occurred to 
you that she is being blackmailed for some past error?" 

"It has," replied Manton gravely. "But unless I have been grossly 
deceived, Anna was held up as an example of all that is best in a 
young lady." 

Pons nodded, and appeared to reflect for a moment. "You say you 
married Lady McFallon six months after the tragic death of her 


lusband. Were you aware of the financial condition of the late Scott 

VIcFallon ?" 

Our visitor nodded. "When I came to England seven years ago, 
and came to know the lady who is now my wife I learned that 1 
husband's affairs were in a bad way, and that it had become neces- 
sary to sell Norcross Towers." 

"You were not then aware that other factors entered into McFal- 
lon's weak financial condition at the time of his death? 

"Such as what?" asked Manton bluntly. 

"His lack of honesty with friends and patrons to the extent ot 
causing many of them to lose ^heavily because of certain ill-advis 
if not criminal activities ?" 

Manton shook his head. "I knew nothing of it. 

"Perhaps it has so happened that some group of persons has di 
covered or manufactured evidence to show complicity between Me 
Fallon and his wife, and perhaps this is the nature of the blackmailing 

attempts." ,. 

Manton sprang from his chair in extreme agitation I cant con- 
S1 der such a suggestion, Mr. Pons," he said sharply. I canno for 
a moment believe that Anna was in any way a party to McFallon s 
schemes. If you come to Norcross Towers with that idea, Mr. 
Pons-" He shook his head violently. "No, it's better to drop the 
matter at once. Anna's past is spotless; if McFallon was guilty of 
dishonest or criminal acts, then she knew nothing of it, b 

You cannot think it." 

"You forget that I am only suggesting possibilities, and it s en- 
tirely possible that forged evidence would cause her to fa 1 a ready 
victim; fearing that connection with scandal, however ill-found 
might reflect upon your name or your business." 

Manton looked down at Pons, a light breaking over his features. 
"Mr Pons, I believe you have hit it!" he exclaimed. "That must be 
the reason she didn't want to tell me -for fear of injuring my posi- 
tion - for she knew nothing could ever come between us. 

"I am not at all sure that my supposition is correct," objected 
"I merely consider possibilities. There are more to examine 

Pons reached for the telephone and called Scotland Yard. I heard 
an answering voice which, from my place close to Pons, I recognize 
as Inspector Jamison's. Pons asked for information concerning S 


McFallon, and we sat in silence while Pons waited until Jamison had 
given him the data he wanted. 

He turned from the instrument smiling cryptically. "Apparently 
death was an escape for McFallon. The day before the bog claimed 
him, an order for his arrest was signed. He would be in prison today 
if he had come alive from the fens." 

"Good God Mr. Pons!" exclaimed Manton. "My wife must never 
know that she can't have suspected anything bad of McFallon." 

Pons nodded and rose to dress for the long ride before us. 

Norcross Towers was a large rambling structure, a typical English 
country house, not far from the highroad, which connected with the 
road Manton had had constructed across the fens to Acton. The two- 
story building was surmounted at the rear by twin turret-like towers, 
from which the estate no doubt derived its name. The house was of 
old gray stone, made extremely attractive by great masses of ivy that 
flung its vines far up along the old walls. As we came up the flagstone 
walk toward the house, I noticed that all the windows within range 
were set very low, close to the ground. 

Mrs. Manton was the type of woman most often described as ash- 
blond. Her features were thin, well-formed, and her body was very 
lithe. She had lost neither the dignity of bearing nor the singular 
beauty which had helped to make her a social leader before her 
marriage. We met the lady in Manton's study, where we were intro- 
duced under our own names as brokers, for Pons considered it un- 
likely that Mrs. Manton would recognize either of us. 

It was dusk when we arrived at Norcross Towers, and the first 
duty before us was dinner, over which we spent an hour, chatting 
about stocks and bonds, a subject about which Pons knew much more 
than I had given him credit for, and, for the benefit of the lady, the 
news of the day. However, Pons and I excused ourselves imme- 
diately after dinner and retired to our room on the first floor, where 
Pons had insisted it be, for he planned on some nocturnal recon- 
noitering, and had no wish to be forced to descend the stairs each 
time he wanted to prowl about. 

In our rooms, Pons gave a sigh of relief. He changed into an old 
hunting outfit, complete with a rifle, and stepped out of the low 
window to the adjoining terrace. I watched him make his way over 


the lawns to the road leading across the fens, and saw him at last 
trudging away down the road. I settled myself to read and awaii 

his return. 

But it was after midnight when Pons came back, and I was dozing 
in my chair, book in my lap, when he slipped into the room. I awok< 
with a start to see him standing before me, removing his hunting 
jacket, and regarding me with a tolerant smile. 
"You examined the ruin, I suppose?" I guessed. 
Pons nodded. "There's certainly some kind of patient there, 
fellow is in an improvised bed, and if I'm not mistaken, he won't 
last long; he is quite wasted by disease. He looks sixty, but cannot 
be much over forty." 
"And his keeper?" 

"A burly fellow, but never a country man. I daresay I should not 
be wrong in asserting that he is not unfamiliar with Limehouse or 
Wapping. The patient's doctor is there, too a great hulk of a man, 
who shows some traces of culture. He is well-dressed, wears pince- 
nez on a gold chain, and has fascinating - that is to say, hypnotic - 
eyes There is nothing definite to be said about him, save that under 
pressure, he might well become a very ugly customer. I should not 
like to cultivate his acquaintance. 

"All in all, it has the appearance of what it is meant to be: a case 
of experimentation on the health, mental and/or physical, of the 
patient, though he seemed to protest his imprisonment. Unfortu- 
nately, I could hear nothing of the conversation, for the room was 
tightly shut they are occupying but one room, incidentally and 
the three spoke in low voices. It's entirely possible that we may. be 
assuming too much in suggesting a connection between the trio and 
the unknown blackmailers, but there is something very suspicious 
about them. I have the feeling I have seen the three before, but I'm 
hanged if I can place them at the moment." 

"They must be in it," I put in. "I see no reason for this kind of 
treatment of a patient, lunatic or not. The man is exposed to con- 
sumption in this atmosphere; it is perfectly ridiculous." 

"Consumption!" exclaimed Pons. "Yes, the patient out there strikes 
me as a consumptive; if he is, then his doctor is no more a physician 
than I am, and the patient's presence there is vitally necessary to the 
blackmail plot. It may be that the patient is the directing genius, 


but that is unlikely, for he would not endanger his life by staying 
out there." He shrugged. "Ah, well, let us just sleep on it." 

The next day Pons drew Manton aside. "Do you think it possible 
for me to have a few words with the servant who accompanied Mc- 
Fallon on the day of his death?" 

"Why, the fellow has been dead for years. He had a stroke two 
days after his master was drawn under by the mire out there," said 

For a moment Pons stood as if petrified, his eyes fixed on our 
host in open astonishment, his pipe hung loosely from his mouth. 
Then he clapped his hand to his head and exclaimed, "What a fool 
I have been!" 

Without a further word, he astounded Manton and me by step- 
ping from the study window and vanishing into the mists of early 
evening in the direction of the ruin on the fens. 

"Do you think he has discovered something?" asked Manton 

"Unless I'm greatly mistaken, he has. Pons displays every sign of 
being off on a strong and perhaps conclusive trail!" 

Pons's face on his return was jubilant. His easy grace had returned, 
and his attentions were all for Mrs. Manton. He managed to seat 
himself next to her at the table that night, and he chatted with her 
amiably throughout the meal. It was as she was rising to retire that 
Pons bent to assist her, and muttered into her ear five words, which, 
however lightly they were said, I managed to overhear. 

"He died tonight of consumption." 

I think Mrs. Manton would have fallen, had not Pons been at her 
side. Manton, however, noticed nothing; for her recovery was instant, 
and there now passed between our hostess and Pons a glance of 
understanding which had our host as its object. 

Some time after Mrs. Manton had left us, Pons turned to Manton 
and said quietly, "I think your charming wife will no longer be 
bothered by the rascals out there on the fens." 

"You've cleared up the matter, then?" asked Manton eagerly. 

"I have." 

"In heaven's name, what could they have held over Anna?" 

"Forgery, my dear sir. And what an elaborate forgery!" 

"Poor Anna!" 


"But they will be well on their way to the coast by now," continued 
n !" cried Manton, springing to his feet. "You didn't let them 

nff ?" 

"In the circumstances, I thought it best," said Pons calmly. "The 
rascals would be certain to drag up the scandal of McFaUon s ques- 
tionable activities, with which they are thoroughly farm: 
Manton nodded glumly. 

"But sit down, my dear sir, and let me tell you the clever story 
the fellows had forged to deceive your wife." 
Manton sat down expectantly. 

"Two blackmailers, familiar with McFallon's history, met a young 
man whose resemblance to your wife's first husband was very re- 
markable. These two persuaded this third man to fall in with their 
plan and impersonate McFallon in order to blackmail the present 
Mrs. Manton. Their plan was this: they were to go to Mrs. Manton 
with the clever story that her first husband had not been lost in the 
bos but had fled to the continent to escape the consequences of his 
stock juggling -'certain unpleasant circumstances,' they told your 
wife. Now these fellows were supposed to have encountered Mc- 
Fallon on the Continent, persuaded him to return to England with 
them some time ago, and forced him to reveal his presence to his 
wife through his writing, carefully copied from the real McFallon s. 
Then the blackmailing was to begin, to rise from small sums t 
larger and ever larger sums, forcing the lady to give and give under 
fear of the exposure of her first husband's presence here on the 
and the scandal of a bigamous marriage. 

"How long this might have kept up, it is difficult to say; for all 
went well for them at the beginning over a month ago. Your wite 
believed their fantastic story, and fell prey to them. Unfortunately 
for the villains, the fellow they had chosen to play the part of Mc- 
Fallon was a consumptive. The damp air of the fens brought about 
a quick collapse in his constitution, and only tonight he died and 
was buried in the bog. The rascals are gone, and my advice to you 
Mr. Manton, is to say no word of the affair to your wife. She will 
soon know that her trouble is over, and she will feel better if you 
know nothing of it." He sighed. "And now let us get to bed, for ] 
should like to be in London early tomorrow." 


"What a curious tale," I said, when we were once more alone in 
our room, "and yet, in a way, very clever. The idea of having Mc- 
Fallon vanish with the servant as accomplice is perfectly logical in 
the circumstances of McFallon's imminent arrest; his supposed stay 
on the Continent and his meeting with those rascals when he could 
no longer return to England because his wife had remarried after 
the unexpected death of his accomplice prohibited her from knowing 
the true state of affairs; those fellows forcing him to aid them, for 
he was noble enough to keep away all these years and now fell victim 
to them why, every step is perfectly logical!" I exclaimed in ad- 

I stopped suddenly and looked at Pons, whose face looked gray 
and gaunt in the dimmed light of the room. "Why, Pons!" I cried. 
"It was true!" 

"Every word of it!" Pons nodded. "Except that McFallon killed 
himself rather than be instrumental in his wife's suffering. He rests 
now in the bog, and no one will ever know he has not been there 
all these years!" 

"Good God! And you let those scoundrels get away?" 

Pons turned his inscrutable eyes on me. "I had all I could do to 
keep my hands from their throats but there are better ways of 
handling these matters. I sent a wire to Jamison before lunch; they'll 
be taken at Dover." 

Detective: SHERLOCK HOLMES Narrator: WATSON 




You probably have never heard of the late William 0. Fuller. 
Would you like to {now the kind of man he was? Well, 
Thomas Bailey Aldrich once said that he was the nearest ap- 
proach to Charles Lamb of all the writers Mr. Aldrich came 
to know. That gives you an inkling, but the picture broadens 
when you learn further that men li\e Mar\ Twain, Edward 
Bof(, and Henry van Dyke were his friends. They came to visit 
him in his famous treasure-house of a study- "The Brown 
Study," as it was known to his intimates. 

It was in "The Brown Study" that Mr. Fuller, newspaper- 
man, lecturer, and eminent after-dinner speaker, wrote u The 
Mary Queen of Scots Jewel" a sensitive and sincere pastiche 
of the Sacred Conan, with a closing speech by Sherlock, Holmes 
that mattes us love him all the more. This hitherto unchronicled 
adventure is made available to the general public through the 
gracious permission of Mrs. Kathleen S. Fuller, the author's 
wife. Previously it appeared only as a private edition, limited 
to 200 copies, printed in 7929 by The Riverside Press of Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts, under the title A NIGHT WITH SHERLOCK 



T WAS one of those misty, rainy mornings in early summer when 

the streets of London contrive to render themselves particularly dis- 
agreeable, the pavements greasy with mud and the very buildings 
presenting their gloomy facades wreathed in a double melancholy. 
Returning from a professional call and finding Baker Street in my 
way, I had dropped in on my friend Sherlock Holmes, whom I 


found amid the delightful disorder of his room, his chair drawn up 
to a fire of coals and himself stretched abroad in it, pulling at his 
favorite pipe. 

"Glad to see you, Watson," he called heartily. "Sit down here, 
light a cigar and cheer me up. This infernal wet spell has got on my 
nerves. You're just the company I require." 

I helped myself to a cigar, put a chair to one side of the grate and 
waited for Holmes to talk, for I understood that in this frame of mind 
he had first to relieve himself of its irritability before a naturally 
pleasant mood could assert itself. 

"Do you know, Watson," he began, after some moments of silent 
smoking, "I don't at all like your treatment of my latest adventure. 
I told you at the time that the part played by that country detective 
threw my methods into a comparison with his such as tends to over- 
rate my abilities." 

Holmes's querulous allusion to the now famous Amber Necklace 
Case, to my mind one of his most brilliant exploits, I could afford to 
let pass in silence, and did so. 

"Not," he added, with a suggestion of the apologetic in his voice, 
"not that, on the whole, you let your pen of a ready chronicler carry 
you too pliantly into the realm of romance but you must be care- 
ful, Watson, not to ascribe to me the supernatural. You know your- 
self how ordinary my science is when the paths of its conclusions are 
traced after me. As, for instance, the fact that I am about to have a 
caller how I know this may for a moment appear a mystery to you, 
but in the sequel most commonplace." 

There came on the instant a rap at the street door, and to my sur- 
prised look of inquiry Holmes replied, with a laugh : 

"My dear Watson, it is kindergarten. You failed to hear, as I did 
an instant ago for you were listening to my morose maunderings 
the faint tooting of the horn of a motorcar, which it was easy to 
perceive was about turning the upper corner of our street; nor did 
you observe, as I was able to do, that in the proper space of time the 
unmistakable silence caused by the stopping of a motor engine was 
apparent under my window. I am persuaded, Watson, that a look 
out of that window will plainly disclose a car standing by my curb- 


I followed him across the room and peered over his shoulder as 


he put back the curtains. Sure enough, a motorcar had drawn up 
to the curb. Under its canopy top we perceived two gentlemen seated 
in the tonneau. The chauffeur stood at the street door, evidently 
waiting. At this moment Holmes's housekeeper, after a warning rap 
walked into the room, bearing two cards on a tray, which she pa 

to Holmes. , . , 

reading the cards aloud. "H'm. Evidently our friend the Conqueror 
has many admirers in America. You may ask the gentlemen to walk 
upstairs, Mrs. Hudson," he added. 

"How do you know your callers are from America? . was t 
ginning, when following a knock at the door, and Holmes's brisk 
"Come in!" two gentlemen entered, stopped near the threshold and 
bowed They were garbed in raincoats; one, of medium height, 
smooth-shaven, resembling in features the actor Irving; the other, 
of smaller stature, distinguished by a pair of Mr. Pickwick spectacles. 
"Pray come in, gentlemen," said Sherlock Holmes, with the cour- 
tesy of manner that so well becomes him. "Throw off your raincoats, 
take a cigar, sit here in these chairs by the fire, and while you talk 
of the circumstances that have given me the honor of a visit so soon 
after your arrival in London, I will busy myself in mixing a cocktail, 
one of the excellent devices which you* American people have 
duced to an appreciative British public." 

The visitors responded readily to these overtures of cordiality; from 
a tray on the table selected with unerring discrimination what I knew 
to be Holmes's choicest cigars, and in a brief time the four chairs 
were drawn in a half-moon before the glowing grate. Introductions 
had quickly been got through with. 

"Dr Watson, as my somewhat o'erpartial biographer, saic 
as he lighted his pipe, "was on the point of wondering, when inter- 
rupted by your entrance, at my having in advance pronounced upc 
the nationality of my callers." 
The taller of the gentlemen -- it was the one bearing the name 

Richardson smiled. 

"I was myself struck by that allusion," he responded, no less than 
by your other somewhat astonishing reference to our being but 
newly come to the city. In point of fact we have been here a peno< 
of something less than twenty-four hours." 


Sherlock Holmes laughed pleasantly. "It is the simplest of matters 
when explained," he said, "as I have often pointed out to Dr. Watson. 
In the line of research to which I occasionally turn my attention, as 
he has so abundantly set forth in his published narratives, acquaint- 
ance must be had, as you will know, with a great variety of subjects. 
The motorcar, for instance, that ubiquitous invader of the realm of 
locomotion, naturally falls within the periphery of these attentions; 
nor could I long study its various interesting phases without coming 
to recognize the cars of different makes and nationalities. There are, 
if my memory is not at fault, some one hundred and thirty varieties 
of patterns easily distinguishable to one adept in this direction. When 
Watson looked out of the window, at my shoulder a moment ago, 
his investigations, pursued in quite different channels, did not disclose 
to him what was evident to me at a glance, namely, an American 
machine frequently encountered in this country. It was easy to guess 
that its occupants were also from the States. 

"As to the other matter among the earliest things the American 
man or woman of taste does on reaching London is to give an order 
to the engraver for his name card in the latest London style. The card 
this season, as we know, is small, the type a shaded variety of Old 
English. The cards brought me by the hand of Mrs. Hudson were of 
medium size, engraved in last year's script. Plainly my American 
callers had at the longest but a short time come to the city. A trifle 
hazardous yes but in these matters one sometimes has to guess 
point-blank or, to quote one of your American navigators, 'Stand 
boldly to the South'ard and trust to luck!' You find this holds together, 

I confessed with a laugh that I was quite satisfied. The American 
gentlemen exchanged glances of gratification. Evidently, this exhibi- 
tion of my friend's characteristic method of deduction afforded them 
the highest satisfaction. 

"Which brings us," remarked Holmes, whose pipe was now draw- 
ing bravely, "to the real object of this visit, which I may say at once 
I am glad to be honored with, having a high appreciation of your 
country, and finding myself always indebted to one of your truly 
great writers, whose French detective I am pleased to consider a 
monumental character in a most difficult field of endeavor. My friend 
Watson has made some bold essays in that direction," added Holmes, 


with a deprecatory shake of the head, "but it is a moot question if 
he ever has risen to the exalted level of The Murders in the Rue 

Morgue." , . , 

As Sherlock Holmes ceased speaking, the visitors, who had 

grave, looked at each other questioningly. 

' "It is your story," said the one in spectacles. 

The gentleman by the name of Richardson acknowledged the sug- 
gestion. T , T 

"Perhaps," he said, "I would best begin at the beginning. If I am 
too long, or obscure in my details, do me the honor to interrupt me. 

"Let us have the whole story," said Holmes. "I naturally assume 
that you solicit my assistance under some conditions of difficulty. 
In such matters no details, however seemingly obscure, ^can be re- 
garded as inessential, and I beg you to omit none of them." 
' The American flicked the ash from his cigar and began his story. 

"My friend and I landed at Liverpool ten days or more ago, for 
a summer's motoring in your country. We journeyed by easy stages 
up to London, stopping here only long enough to visit our bankers 
and to mail two or three letters of introduction that we had brougni 

from home." , 

"To mail " interrupted Holmes; then he added with a laugh: 
"Ah yes, you posted your letters. Pardon me." 

"Long enough to post our letters," repeated the American, adopting 
the humorously proffered correction. "Then we pushed on for our 
arranged tour of the South of England. At Canterbury a note over- 
took us from the Lord M- - , acknowledging receipt of our letter 
of introduction to that nobleman, and praying us to be his guests at 
dinner on Wednesday of the present week - yesterday - as later 
he should be out of the city. It seemed best, on a review of the cir- 
cumstances, for us to return to London, as his Lordship was one 
whom we particularly desired to meet. So Wednesday found us 
again in the city, where we took rooms at the Langham, m Portland 
Place It wanting several hours of dressing time, we strolled out in a 
casual way, bringing up in Wardour Street. I don't need to tell you 
that in its abounding curio shops, which have extraordinary fascina- 
tion for all American travelers, we found the time pass quickly. In 
one of the little shops, where I was somewhat known to the proprietor 
by reason of former visits, we were turning over a tray of curious 


stones, with possible scarf pins in mind, when the dealer came for- 
ward with a package that he had taken from his safe, and removing 
its wrappings said: 'Perhaps, sir, you would be interested in this?' 

"It was a curious bit of antique workmanship a gold bar bearing 
the figure of a boy catching a mouse, the whole richly set about with 
diamonds and rubies, with a large and costly pearl as a pendant. 
Even in the dingy light of the shop it sparkled with a sense of value. 

" 'It is from the personal collection of the Countess of Warrington,' 
said the dealer. 'It belonged originally to the unfortunate Mary Queen 
of Scots, and there is an accompanying paper of authentication, 
showing its descent through various hands for the past three hundred 
and forty years. You will see engraved here, in the setting, the arms 
of Mary.' " 

Holmes, a past master in the science of heraldry, his voice ex- 
hibiting a degree of interest with which I was quite familiar, here 
broke in: 

"Or, a lion rampant within a double tressure flory and counter 
flory, gules. Mary, as Queen of Scotland and daughter of James I, 
would bear the arms of Scotland. I know the jewel you are describing 
indeed, I saw it one time when visiting at the country seat of the 
Countess, following a daring attempt at burglary there. You know 
the particulars, Watson. I have heard that since the death of the 
Countess, the family being straitened financially, some of her jewels 
have been put into discreet hands for negotiation." 

"So the dealer explained," the visitor continued, "and he added, that 
as the jewels were so well known in England, they could be sold only 
to go abroad, hence the value of a prospective American customer. 
I confess that the jewel interested me. I had a newly married niece 
in mind for whom I had not yet found just the wedding gift that 
suited me, and this appeared to fit into the situation. 

" 'What is the price?' I asked. 

" 'We think one thousand pounds very cheap for it, sir,' said the 
dealer, in the easy manner with which your shopkeepers price their 
wares to Americans. 

"After some further talk, our time being run out, my friend and 
I returned to the Langham and dressed for dinner. It was while 
dressing that a knock came at my room door. Opening it, I found a 
messenger from the curio dealer's, who, handing me a small package, 


explained that it was the jewel, which the dealer desired me to retain 
for more convenient examination. In the embarrassment of the 
moment I neglected to do the proper thing and return the package 
to the messenger, who indeed had touched his cap and gone while 

yet stood in the door. 

'"Look at this, Fuller,' I called, and stepped into his room- 
is our traveling custom to have rooms connecting. 'Isn't this quite 
like an English shopkeeper, entrusting his property to a comparative 
stranger? It's a dangerous thing to have credit with these confiding 


"My friend's reply very clearly framed the situation. 

" 'It's a more dangerous thing,' he said, 'to be chosen as the safe- 
deposit of priceless heirlooms. It is scarcely the sort of ^ thing one 
would seek to be made the custodian of in a strange city.' 

"This was true. The dinner hour was close on our heels, a taxi 
was in waiting, there was no time to arrange with the office, and 1 
dropped the package into my inner pocket. After all, it seemed a 
secure enough place. I could feel its gentle pressure against my side, 
which would be a constant guarantee of safety. 

" We were received by Lord and Lady M - - with the open-handed 
cordiality that they always accord to visitors from our country. The 
company at table was not so large but that the conversation could be 
for the most part general, running at the first to topics chiefly 
American, with that charming exhibition of English naivete and 
ignorance -you will pardon me -in affairs across the water. From 
this point the talk trailed off to themes quite unrelated but always 
interesting -the Great War, in which his Lordship had played a 
conspicuous part; the delicious flavor of wall-grown peaches; the 
health of the King; of her ladyship's recipe for barleywater; the 
recent disposal of the library and personal effects of the notorious 
Lord Earlbank. This by natural steps led to a discussion of family 
heirlooms, which speedily brought out the jewel, whose insistent 
pressure I had felt all through the courses, and which was soon passing 
from hand to hand, accompanied by feminine expressions of delight. 
"The interest in the jewel appeared to get into the air. Even the 
servants became affected by it. I noticed the under butler, while filling 
the glass of Captain Pole-Carew, who was holding the trinket up 
to catch the varying angles of light, in which it flashed amazingly, 


fasten his eyes upon it. For an instant he breathed heavily and almost 
leaned upon the captain's shoulder, forgetting the wine he was in 
the act of decanting, and which, overflowing the glass, ran down 
upon the cloth. The jewel continued its circuit of the table and re- 
turned to my inner pocket. 

" 'A not over-safe repository, if I may venture the opinion,' said 
the captain, with a smile. I had occasion later to recall the cynical 

"We returned to our hotel at a late hour, and fatigued with the long 
day went directly to bed. Our rooms, as I have said, adjoined, and it 
is a habit in our travels at the day's end to be back and forth, talking 
as we disrobe. I allude to this fact as it bears upon the case. I was 
first in bed, and remember hearing Mr. Fuller put up the window 
before his light went out. For myself, I dropped off at once and must 
have slept soundly. I was awakened by hearing my name called 
loudly. It was Fuller's voice and I rushed at once into his room, 
hastily switching on the electric light. Fuller sat on the edge of the 
bed, in his pajamas and as this part of the story is his, perhaps he 
would best tell it." 

The visitor in the Pickwickian spectacles, thus appealed to, took up 
the narrative. 

"I also had gone instantly to sleep," he said, "but by-and-by came 
broad awake, startled, with no sense of time, but a stifled feeling of 
alarm. I dimly saw near the side of my bed a figure, which on my 
suddenly sitting up made a hurried movement. With no clear idea 
of what I was doing, I made a hasty clutch in the dark and fastened 
my hand on the breast of a man's coat. I think my grip was a 
frenzied one, for as the man snatched himself away, I felt the cloth 
tear. In a second of time the man had crossed the room and I heard 
the window rattle as he struck the sash in passing through it. It 
was then I cried out, and Mr. Richardson came running in." 

"We made a hasty examination of the room," the first speaker 
resumed. "My evening coat lay on the floor, and I remembered that 
when taking it off I had hung it on the post of Fuller's bed. It is 
to prolong an already somewhat lengthy story not to say at once that 
the jewel was gone. We stared at each other with rueful faces. 

" 'The man has gone through that window with it!' cried Fuller. 
He pointed with a clenched hand. Then he brought his hand back, 


with a conscious air, and opened it. 'This is a souvenir of him,' he 
said, and he held out a button this button." 

Sherlock Holmes reached quickly for the little article that the 
speaker held out and carefully examined it through his lens. 

"A dark horn button," he said, "of German manufacture and 
recent importation. A few strands of thread pulled out with it. This 
may be helpful." Then he turned to his callers. "And what else?" 

"Well that is about all we can tell you. We did the obvious 
thing rang for the night clerk and watchman and made what 
examination was possible. The burglar had plainly come along a 
narrow iron balcony, opening from one of the hotel corridors and 
skirting the row of windows that gave upon an inner courtyard, 
escaping by the same channel. The night watchman could advance 
only a feeble conjecture as to how this might be done successfully. 
The burglar, he opined, could have made off through the servants' 
quarters, or possibly was himself a guest of the house, familiar with 
its passages and now snugly locked in his room and beyond appre- 

"Did you speak of your loss?" asked Holmes. 

"No; that did not appear to be necessary. We treated the incident 
at the moment as only an invasion." 

"Exceedingly clever," approved Holmes. "You Americans can 
usually be trusted not to drive in too far." 

"We breakfasted early, decided that you were our only resource 
and in short," concluded the visitor, with an outward gesture of 
the hands, "that is the whole story. The loss is considerable and we 
wish to entrust the matter to the discreet hands of Mr. Sherlock 

My friend lay back in his chair, intently regarding the button 
poised between his forefingers. 

"What became of that under butler?" he asked abruptly. 

A little look of surprise slipped into the countenance of the visitor. 
"Why, now that you call attention to it," he returned, after a moment's 
reflection, "I remember seeing the head butler putting a spoonful 
of salt upon the red splotch the spilled wine had made, then turning 
his awkward assistant from the room. It was so quietly done as to 
attract no special notice. Afterward, over our cigars in the library, I 
recall his lordship making some joking allusion to Watkins so he 


called the man being something of a connoisseur in jewelry 
a collector in a small way. His Lordship laughingly conjectured that 
the sight of so rare a jewel had unnerved him. Beyond regarding the 
allusion in the way of a quiet apology for a servitor's awkwardness, 
I gave it no particular thought." 

Sherlock Holmes continued to direct his gaze upon the button. 

"Your story is interesting," he said after some moments of silence. 
"It will please me to give it further thought. Perhaps you will let me 
look in on you later at your hotel. It is possible that in the course 
of the day I shall be able to give you some news." 

The visitors hereupon courteously taking their leave, Holmes and 
I were left alone. 

"Well, Watson," he began, "what do you make of it?" 

"There is an under butler to be reckoned up," I replied. 

"You also observed the under butler, did you?" said Holmes 
abstractedly. After a pause he added : "Do you happen to know the 
address of Lord M 's tailor?" 

I confessed that this lay outside the circle of my knowledge of the 
nobility. Holmes put on his cap and raincoat. 

"I am going out on my own, Watson," he said, "for a stroll among 
the fashionable West End tailor shops. Perhaps you will do me the 
honor to lunch with me at the Club. I may want to discuss matters 

with you." 

Sherlock Holmes went out and I returned home. It was a dull day 
for patients, for which I was glad, and the lunch hour found me 
promptly at the Athenaeum, waiting at our accustomed corner table 
impatiently waiting, for it was long past the lunch hour when 
Holmes came in. 

"A busy morning, Watson," was his brief remark as he took his 


"And successful?" 

To this Holmes made no reply, taking his soup with profound 
abstraction and apparently oblivious of his guest across the table. 
While I was accustomed to this attitude of preoccupation, it piqued 
me to be left so entirely out of his consideration. A review of his 
morning investigations seemed, under the circumstances, to be quite 

my due. 
"I am going to ask you," began Holmes, when the meal had gone 


on to its close in silence, "to get tickets for the Alhambra tonight 
four tickets. In the middle of the house, with an aisle seat. Then 
kindly drop around to the hotel and arrange with our friends to go 
with us. Or, rather, for us to go with them in their motorcar, 
Watson. Request diem to pick us up at Baker Street. You will under- 
take this? Very good, Watson. Then till I see you at my rooms!" 
And tossing off his coffee in the manner of a toast, Sherlock Holmes 
abruptly arose and left me, waving his cap as he went through the 

It was useless to demur at this cavalier treatment. I had to content 
myself with the reflection that, as my friend mounted into the atmos- 
phere of criminal detection, the smaller obligations fell away from 
him. During what was left of the day I was busy in executing the 
commissions which he had entrusted to me, and night found me at 
Baker Street, where I discovered Holmes in evening clothes. 

"I was just speculating, Watson," he began, in an airy manner, 
"upon the extraordinary range and variety of the seemingly in- 
significant and lowly article of commerce known as the button. It 
is a device common in one form or another to every country. Its origin 
we should need to seek back of the dimmest borders of recorded 
history. Its uses and application are beyond calculation. Do you hap- 
pen to know, my dear Doctor, the figures representing the imports 
into England for a single year of this ornamental, and at times highly 
useful, little article ? Of horn buttons, for example it were curious 
to speculate upon the astonishing number of substances that mas- 
querade under that distinguishing appellation. Indeed, the real horn 
button when found if I may quote from our friend Captain Cuttle 
is easily made a note of." 

It was in this bantering vein that Holmes ran on, not suffering 
interruption, until the arrival of our callers of die morning, in their 
motorcar, which speedily conveyed us to the Alhambra, that gorgeous 
home of refined vaudeville. The theater was crowded as usual. A 
few moments after our arrival, one of the boxes filled with a fashion- 
able party, among whom our American friends recognized some of 
their dinner acquaintances of the previous evening. Later I perceived 
Captain Pole-Carew, as he looked over the house, bow to our com- 
panions. Then his glance ranged to Sherlock Holmes, where I may 
have imagined it rested a moment, passing thence to a distant part 


of the galleries. Why we had been brought to this public amusement 
hall it was impossible to conjecture. That in some manner it bore 
upon the commission Holmes had undertaken I was fain to believe, 
but beyond that conclusion it was idle to speculate. At one time 
during the evening Holmes, who had taken the aisle seat, suddenly 
got up and retired to the lobby, but was soon back again and ap- 
parently engrossed in what went on upon the stage. 

At the end of the performance we made our way through the 
slowly moving audience, visibly helped along by Holmes. In the 
lobby we chanced to encounter Captain Pole-Carew, who had sep- 
arated from the box party. He greeted the Americans with some 
reserve, but moved along with us to the exit, near which our motor- 
car already waited. The captain had distantly acknowledged the 
introduction to Holmes and myself, and knowing how my friend 
resented these cool conventionalities, I was unprepared for the 
warmth with which he seconded the suggestion that the captain make 
one of our party in the drive home. 

"Sit here in the tonneau," he said cordially, "and let me take the 
seat with the chauffeur. It will be a pleasure, I assure you." 

The captain's manifest reluctance to join our party was quite 
overcome by Holmes's polite insistence. His natural breeding as- 
serted itself against whatever desire he may have entertained for 
other engagements, and in a short time the car had reached his door 
in Burleigh Street. 

Sherlock Holmes quickly dismounted. "We have just time for a 
cigar and a cocktail with the captain," he proposed. 

"Yes, to be sure," said Captain Pole-Carew, but with no excess of 
heartiness. "Do me the honor, gentlemen, of walking into my bachelor 
home. I I shall be charmed." 

It was Sherlock Holmes who carried the thing off; otherwise I 
think none of us would have felt that the invitation was other than 
the sort that is perfunctorily made and expected to be declined, with 
a proper show of politeness on both sides. But Holmes moved gayly 
to the street door, maintaining a brisk patter of small talk as Pole- 
Carew got out his latchkey. We were ushered into a dimly lighted 
hall and passed thence into a large apartment, handsomely furnished, 
the living room of a man of taste. 


"Pray be seated, gentlemen," said our host. "I expected my valet 
here before me he also was at the theater tonight but your motor- 
car outstripped him. However, I daresay we can manage," and the 
captain busied himself setting forth inviting decanters and cigars. 

We had but just engaged in the polite enjoyment of Captain Pole- 
Carew's hospitality when Sherlock Holmes suddenly clapped his 
handkerchief to his nose, with a slight exclamation of annoyance. 

"It is nothing," he said, "a trifling nose-bleed to which I am often 
subject after the theater." He held his head forward, his face covered 
with the handkerchief. 

"It is most annoying," he added apologetically. "Cold water er 
could I step into your dressing room, Captain?" 

"Certainly certainly," our host assented; "through that door, 

Mr. Holmes." 

Holmes quickly vanished through the indicated door, whence 
presently came the sound of running water from a tap. We had 
scarcely resumed our interrupted train of conversation when he re- 
appeared in the door, bearing in his hand a jacket. 

"Thank you, Captain Pole-Carew," he said, coming forward, "my 
nose is quite better. It has led me, I find, to a singular discovery. May 
I ask, without being regarded as impolite, if this is your jacket?" 

I saw that Captain Pole-Carew had gone pale as he answered 
haughtily: "It is my valet's jacket, Mr. Holmes. He must have for- 
gotten it. Why do you ask?" 

"I was noticing the buttons," returned Holmes; "they are exactly 
like this one in my pocket," and he held the dark horn button up to 

"What of that?" retorted our host quickly; "could there not be 

many such?" 

"Yes," Holmes acknowledged, "but this button of mine was vio- 
lently torn from its fastening as it might have been from this 

"Mr. Holmes," returned Captain Pole-Carew with a sneer, "your 
jest is neither timely nor a brilliant one. The jacket has no button 

"No, but it had," returned Holmes coolly; "here, you will see, it 
has been sewn on, not as a tailor sews it, with the thread concealed, 


but through and through the cloth, leaving the thread visible. As a 
man unskilled, or in some haste, might sew it on. You get my mean- 
ing, Captain?" 

Sherlock Holmes as he spoke had crossed the room to where 
Captain Pole-Carew, his face dark with passion, was standing on the 
hearthrug. Holmes made an exaggerated gesture in holding up the 
jacket, stumbled upon the captain in doing so, and fell violently 
against the mantel. In an effort to recover himself his arm dislodged 
a handsome vase, which fell to the floor and shivered into fragments. 
There was a cry from Captain Pole-Carew, who flung himself amid 
the fractured pieces of glass. Swift as his action was, Sherlock Holmes 
was quicker, and snatched from the floor an object that glittered 
among the broken fragments. 

"I think, Mr. Richardson," he said calmly, recovering himselt, 
"that, as a judge of jewelry, this is something you will take particular 

interest in." 

Before any one of us was over the surprise of the thing, Cap- 
tain Pole-Carew had quite regained his poise, and stood lighting his 

cigar. , 

"A very pretty play, Mr. Sherlock Holmes," he said. "I am indebted 
to you and your itinerant friends for a charming evening. May 
suggest, however, that the hour is now late, and Baker Street, even 
for a motorcar, something of a distance?" 

"Naturally," said Sherlock Holmes, when we had reached his rooms 
and joined him in a good-night cigar, "you expect me to lay bare 
the processes and so rob my performance of its sole element of 
fascination. Watson has taught you in his memoirs to expect it. My 
button quest was certainly directed against his Lordship's under 
butler, but at the first inquiry it turned up, to my surprise, the 
entirely unexpected valet of quite another person. It was a curious 
fact, the tailor declared, that he should twice in one day have calls 
for that identical button, and he innocently alluded to the valet of 
Pole-Carew. This was sufficient clue to start upon. 

"Investigation in proper quarters not only established the palpable 
innocuousness of the under butler, but afforded such insight into the 
existent relations between the captain and his valet as I doubt not 
will again bring them into the sphere of my attentions. It was plainly 


the brain of the master that conceived the robbery, but the hand of 
the valet executed it. I even paid a most enjoyable visit to our friends 
at the Langham, as I had promised." 

The Americans looked at each other. 

"That could hardly be," they said. "We were not out of our rooms, 
and our only caller was a clerk from the curio shop with a message 
from the dealer an impertinent old fellow he was, too, who followed 
us about the rooms with many senile questions as to our tour.' 

"In this profession I have to adopt many disguises," Holmes 
smilingly explained. "Of course I could have called on you openly, 
yet it amused me to fool you a bit. But a disguise would not serve 
my purpose in getting into Captain Pole-Carew's apartments, which 
was the thing now most desired. Looking back upon the achieve- 
ment, I flatter myself that it was rather ingeniously pulled off. You 
know, Watson, of my association with the theaters and how easily 
under such a connection one can learn who has reserved boxes. 

"I confess that here things played into my hand. I perceived that 
Pole-Carew recognized me that is your doing, Watson and I 
was not surprised when I saw his glance single out a person in the 
gallery, with whom he presently got into conversation. I say con- 
versation, for Pole-Carew I discovered to be an expert in the lip 
language, an accomplishment to which I myself once devoted some 
months of study and which I have found very helpful in my vocation. 
It was an easy matter to intercept the message that the captain from 
his box, with exaggerated labial motion, lipped above the heads of 
the audience. 
" 'Hide the vase!' was the message, several times repeated. "Hide the 


"That was the moment when I left the theater for consultation 
with a friendly detective in the lobby. I strongly suspect," said Sher- 
lock Holmes, with a chuckle, "that the reason the captain failed to 
find his valet at home could be traced to the prompt and intelligent 
action of that friendly detective. Our foisting ourselves upon the 
reluctant captain was merely a clever bit of card forcing, arranged 
quite in advance, but the rest of it was simplicity itself. 

"Inasmuch as you declare that it is the property only, and not a 
criminal prosecution, that you desire, I do not think anything re- 

mains! 3 " 


"Except," said the gentleman warmly, taking the jewel from his 
pocket, "to pay you for this extraordinary recovery." 

Sherlock Holmes laughed pleasantly. 

"My dear American sir," he replied, "I am still very much in your 
debt. You should not lose sight of Edgar Allan. Poe." 


Narrators: WATSON and BUNNY 


This artful blend of pastiche and parody first appeared in "The 
Bookman" issue of April 1932. It is an excellent example of 
what might be termed "humorous reverence" The tafe-off 
of E. W. Hornung's style and characterization is extraor- 
dinarily true to the original jar truer, in fact, than the 
Doylesque counterpart. 

Not the least unusual quality of Mr. Kingsmill's contribution 
is his superb indirection. By exposing the colossal blundering 
and incompetence of the two famous "stooges," Bunny and 
Watson, Mr. Kingsmill subtly reminds us that it is Raffles and 
Sherloct^ Holmes who are the real giants that as champions 
respectfully [sic] of crime and detection, Raffles and Holmes 
reduce all colleagues and competitors to the mere status of, 
on the one hand, pilfering pigmies, and on the other, detecting 
dwarfs. It is a lesson we should not forget . . . 

(SYNOPSIS The Maharajah of Khitmandu, who is staying at Clar- 
idge's, is robbed of the famous Ruby of Khitmandu. Sherloc\ Holmes 
traces the theft to Raffles, who agrees to hand over the ruby to Holmes, 
on condition that he and his confederate Bunny are not proceeded 
against. Raffles has just explained the situation to Bunny. They are in 
the rooms of Raffles in the Albany.) 


M (Bunny's 'Narrative'} 

Y HEART froze at the incredible words which told me that 
Raffles, of all men, was throwing up the sponge without a struggle, 


was tamely handing over the most splendid of all the splendid 
trophies of his skill and daring to this imitation detective, after out- 
witting all the finest brains of the finest crime-investigating organiza- 
tion in the world. Suddenly the ice turned to fire, and I was on my 
feet, speaking as I had never spoken to living man before. What I 
said I cannot remember. If I could, I would not record it. I believe 
I wept. I know I went down on my knees. And Raffles sat there 
with never a word! I see him still, leaning back in a luxurious arm- 
chair, watching me with steady eyes sheathed by drooping lids. 
There was a faint smile on the handsome dare-devil face, and the 
hands were raised as if in deprecation; nor can I give my readers a 
more complete idea of the frenzy which had me in its grip than by 
recording the plain fact that I was utterly oblivious to the strangeness 
of the spectacle before me. Raffles apologetic, Raffles condescending 
to conciliate me at any other time such a reversal of our natural 
roles had filled me with unworthy exultation for myself, and bitter 
shame for him. But I was past caring now. 

And then, still holding his palms towards me, he crossed them. I 
have said that during the telling of his monstrous decision he had 
the ruby between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand. Now 
the left hand was where the right had been, and the ruby was in it. 
I suppose I should have guessed at once, I suppose I should have read 
in his smile what it needed my own eyes to tell me, that there was a 
ruby in his right hand too! So that was the meaning of the upraised 
hands! I swear that my first sensation was a pang of pure relief that 
Raffles had not stooped to conciliate me, my second a hot shame that 
I had been idiot enough even for one moment to believe him capable 
of doing so. Then the full significance of the two rubies flashed 

across me. 
"An imitation?" I gasped, falling back into my chair. 

"An exact replica." 

"For Holmes?" 

He nodded. 

"But supposing he " 

"That's a risk I have to take." 

"Then I go with you." 

A savage gleam lit up the steel-blue eyes. 

"I don't want you." 


"Holmes may spot it. I must share the risk." 

"You fool, you'd double it!" 

"Raffles!" The cry of pain was wrung from me before I could 
check it, but if there was weakness in my self-betrayal, I could not 
regret it when I saw the softening in his wonderful eyes. 

"I didn't mean it, Bunny," he said. 

"Then you'll take me!" I cried, and held my breath through an 
endless half-minute, until a consenting nod brought me to my feet 
again. The hand that shot out to grasp his was met half-way, and a 
twinkling eye belied the doleful resignation in his "What an obstinate 
rabbit it is!" 

Our appointment with Holmes was for the following evening at 
nine. The clocks of London were striking the half-hour after eight 
when I entered the Albany. My dear villain, in evening dress, worn 
as only he could wear it, was standing by the table; but there was 
that in his attitude which struck the greeting dumb upon my lips. 
My eyes followed the direction of his, and I saw the two rubies side 
by side in their open cases. 

"What is it, Raffles?" I cried. "Has anything happened?" 

"It's no good, Bunny," he said, looking up. "I can't risk it. With 
anyone else I'd chance it, and be damned to the consequences, too. 
But Holmes no, Bunny! I was a fool ever to play with the idea." 

I could not speak. The bitterness of my disappointment, the 
depth of my disillusion, took me by the throat and choked me. That 
Raffles should be knocked out I could have borne, that he should let 
the fight go by default there was the shame to which I could fit 
no words. 

"He'd spot it, Bunny. He'd spot it." Raffles picked up one of the 
cases. "See this nick?" he asked lightly, for all the world as if blazing 
eyes and a scarlet face were an invitation to confidences. "I've marked 
this case because it holds the one and only Ruby of Khitmandu, and 
on my life I don't believe I could tell which ruby was which, if I 
once got the cases mixed." 

"And yet," I croaked from a dry throat, "you think Holmes can 
do what you can't!" 

"My dear rabbit, precious stones are one of his hobbies. The fellow's 
written a monograph on them, as I discovered only to-day. I'm not 


saying he'd spot my imitation, but I am most certainly not going 
to give him the chance," and he turned on his heel and strode into 
his bedroom for his overcoat. 

The patient readers of these unworthy chronicles do not need to 
be reminded that I am not normally distinguished for rapidity of 
either thought or action. But for once brain and hand worked as 
surely and swiftly as though they had been Raffles's own, and the 
rubies had changed places a full half-minute' before Raffles returned 
to find me on my feet, my hat clapped to my head, and a look in my 
eyes which opened his own in enquiry. 
"I'm coming with you," I cried. 
Raffles stopped dead, with an ugly glare. 

"Haven't you grasped, my good fool, that I'm handing Holmes 
the real stone?" 
"He may play you false." 
"I refuse to take you." 
"Then I follow you." 

Raffles picked up the marked case, snapped it to, and slipped 
into his overcoat pocket. I was outwitting him for his own good, yet 
a pang shot through me at the sight, with another to follow when the 
safe closed on the real ruby in the dummy's case. And the eyes that 
strove to meet his fell most shamefully as he asked if I still proposed 
to thrust my company upon him. Through teeth which I could hardly 
keep from chattering I muttered that it was a trap, that Holmes 
would take the stone and then call in the police, that I must share 
the danger as I would have shared the profits. A contemptuous shrug 
of the splendid shoulders, and a quick spin on his heel, were all the 
answer he vouchsafed me, and not a word broke the silence between 
us as we strode northwards through the night. 

There was no tremor in the lean strong hand which raised the 
knocker on a door in Baker Street. He might have been going to 
a triumph instead of to the bitterest of humiliations. And it might 
be a triumph, after all! And he would owe it to me! But there was 
little enough of exultation in the heart which pounded savagely as 
I followed him upstairs, my fingers gripped tightly round the life- 
preserver in my pocket. 

"Two gentlemen to see you, sir," wheezed the woman who had 
admitted us. "And one of them," drawled an insufferably affected 


voice, as we walked in, "is very considerately advertising the presence 
of a medium-sized life-preserver in his right overcoat pocket. My 
dear Watson, if you must wave a loaded revolver about, might I 
suggest that you do so in the passage ? Thank you. It is certainly safer 
in your pocket. Well, Mr. Raffles, have you brought it?" 

Without a word, Raffles took the case out, and handed it across 
to Holmes. As Holmes opened it, the fellow whom he had addressed 
as Watson leaned forward, breadiing noisily. Criminals though we 
were, I could not repress a thrill of pride as I contrasted the keen 
bronze face of my companion with the yellow cadaverous counte- 
nance of Holmes, and reflected that my own alas indisputably un- 
distinguished appearance could challenge a more than merely favour- 
able comparison with the mottled complexion, bleared eyes, and 
ragged moustache of the detective's jackal. 

"A beautiful stone, eh, Watson?" Holmes remarked, in the same 
maddening drawl, as he held the ruby to the light. "Well, Mr. Raffles, 
you have saved me a good deal of unnecessary trouble. The prompti- 
tude with which you have bowed to the inevitable does credit to 
your quite exceptional intelligence. I presume that you will have no 
objection to my submitting this stone to a brief examination?" 

"I should not consider that you were fulfilling your duty to your 
client if you neglected such an elementary precaution." 

It was perfectly said, but then was it not Raffles who said it? And 
said it from the middle of the shabby bear-skin rug, his legs apart 
and his back to the fire. Now, as always, the center of die stage was 
his at will, and I could have laughed at die discomfited snarl with 
which Holmes rose, and picking his way through an abominable 
litter of papers disappeared into the adjoining room. Three minutes, 
which seemed to me like twice as many hours, had passed by the 
clock on the mantelpiece, when the door opened again. Teeth set, 
and nerves strung ready, I was yet, even in this supreme moment, 
conscious of a tension in Raffles which puzzled me, for what had 
he, who believed the stone to be the original ruby, to fear? The 
menacing face of the detective brought my life-preserver half out of 
my pocket, and the revolver of the man Watson wholly out of his. 
Then, to my unutterable relief, Holmes said, "I need not detain you 
any longer, Mr. Raffles. But one word in parting. Let this be your 
last visit to these rooms." 


There was a threat in the slow-dropping syllables which I did not 
understand, and would have resented, had I had room in my heart 
for any other emotion than an overwhelming exultation. Through 
a mist I saw Raffles incline his head with a faintly contemptuous 
smile. And I remember nothing more, till we were in the open street, 
and the last sound I expected startled me back into my senses. For 
Raffles was chuckling. 

"I'm disappointed in the man, Bunny," he murmured with a 
laugh. "I was convinced he would spot it. But I was ready for him." 
"Spot it?" I gasped, fighting an impossible suspicion. 
"Yes, spot the dummy which my innocent rabbit was so insultingly 
sure was the one and only Ruby of Khitmandu." 

"What!" My voice rose to a shriek. "Do you mean it was the 
dummy which was in the marked case?" 
He spun round with a savage "Of course!" 
"But you said it was the real one." 
"And again, of course!" 

Suddenly I saw it all. It was the old, old wretched story. He would 
trust no one but himself. He alone could bluff Holmes with a 
dummy stone. So he had tried to shake me off with the lie about 
restoring the real stone. And my unwitting hand had turned the he 
to truth! As I reeled, he caught my arm. 

"You fool! You infernal, you unutterable fool!" He swung me 
round to face his blazing eyes. "What have you done?" 
"I swapped them over. And be damned to you!" 
"You swapped them over?" The words came slowly through 

clenched teeth. 

"When you were in your bedroom. So it was the one and only 
ruby you gave him after all," and the hand that was raised to strike 
me closed on my mouth as I struggled to release the wild laughter 
which was choking in my throat. 

(Dr. Watson's Narrative) 

I must confess that as the door closed on Raffles and his pitiful con- 
federate I felt myself completely at a loss to account for the un- 
expected turn which events had taken. There was no mistaking the 


meaning of the stern expression on the face of Holmes when he 
rejoined us after examining the stone. I saw at once that his surmise 
had proved correct, and that Raffles had substituted an imitation 
ruby for the original. The almost laughable agitation with which the 
lesser villain pulled out his life-preserver at my friend's entrance 
confirmed me in this supposition. It was clear to me that he was as 
bewildered as myself when Holmes dismissed Raffles instead of de- 
nouncing him. Indeed, his gasp of relief as he preceded Raffles out of 
the room was so marked as to bring me to my feet with an ill- 
defined impulse to rectify the extraordinary error into which, as it 
seemed to me, Holmes had been betrayed. 

"Sit down!" Holmes snapped, with more than his usual asperity. 
"But Holmes!" I cried. "Is it possible you do not realize " 
"I realize that, as usual, you realize nothing. Take this stone. Guard 
it as you would guard the apple of your eye. And bring it to me 
here at eight to-morrow morning." 
"But Holmes, I don't understand " 

"I have no time to discuss the limitations of your intelligence." 
I have always been willing to make allowances for my friend's 
natural impatience with a less active intelligence than his own. 
Nevertheless, I could not repress a feeling of mortification as he 
thrust the case into my hand, and propelled me into the passage. 
But the night air, and the brisk pace at which I set out down Baker 
Street, soon served to restore my equanimity. A long experience of my 
friend's extraordinary powers had taught me that he often saw clearly 
when all was darkness to myself. I reflected that he had no doubt 
some excellent reason for letting the villains go. No man could strike 
more swiftly and with more deadly effect than Holmes, but equally 
no man knew better how to bide his time, or could wait more patiently 
to enmesh his catch beyond the possibility of escape. While these 
thoughts were passing through my mind, I had been vaguely con- 
scious of two men walking ahead of me, at a distance of about a 
hundred yards. Suddenly one of them reeled, and would have fallen 
had not his companion caught his arm. My first impression was that 
I was witnessing the spectacle, alas only too common a one in all 
great cities, of two drunken men assisting each other homewards. But 
as I observed the couple in pity mingled with repulsion, the one who 
had caught the other's arm raised his hand as if to deliver a blow. I 


felt for my revolver, and was about to utter a warning shout, when I 
perceived that they were the very men who had just been occupying 
my thoughts. The need for caution instantly asserted itself. Halting, 
I drew out my pipe, filled it, and applied a match. This simple 
stratagem enabled me to collect my thoughts. It was plain that these 
rascals had quarrelled. I recalled the familiar adage that when thieves 
fall out honest men come by their own, and I summoned all my 
powers to imagine what Holmes would do in my place. To follow 
the rogues at a safe distance, and act as the development of the 
situation required, seemed to me the course of action which he would 
pursue. But I could not conceal from myself that his view of what 
the situation might require would probably differ materially from 
my own. For an instant I was tempted to hasten back to him with 
the news of this fresh development. But a moment's reflection con- 
vinced me that to do so would be to risk the almost certain loss of 
my quarry. I had another, and I fear a less excusable, motive for not 
returning. The brusquerie of my dismissal still rankled a little. It 
would be gratifying if I could, this once, show my imperious friend 
that I was capable of making an independent contribution to the 
unravelling of a problem. I therefore quickened my steps, and soon 
diminished the distance between myself and my quarry to about 
fifty yards. It was obvious that the dispute was still in progress. 
Raffles himself maintained a sullen silence, but the excitable voice 
and gestures of his accomplice testified that the quarrel, whatever 
its nature, was raging with unabated vehemence. 

They had entered Piccadilly, and I was still at their heels, when 
they turned abruptly into Albany Courtyard. By a fortunate co- 
incidence I had for some weeks been visiting the Albany in my 
professional capacity, having been called in by my old friend General 
Macdonagh, who was now at death's door. I was therefore known 
to the commissionaire, who touched his hat as I hastened past him. 
With the realization that this was where Raffles lived, the course 
of action I should adopt became clear to me. He had the latchkey 
in his door, as I came up. 

"By Heavens!" his companion cried. "It's Watson!" 
"Dr. Watson, if you please, Bunny." The scoundrel turned to me 
with a leer. "This is indeed a charming surprise, Doctor." 


Ignoring the covert insolence of the man, I demanded sternly if 
he would accord me a brief audience in his rooms. 

"But of course, my dear Doctor. Any friend of Mr. Holmes is our 
friend, too. You will excuse me if I lead the way." 

My hand went to my revolver, and as the door of his rooms closed 
behind us, I whipped it out, at the same time producing the case 
which contained the imitation ruby. 

"Here is your imitation stone," I cried, tossing the case on to the 
table. "Hand over the real one, or I shall shoot you like a dog." 

Accomplished villain though he was, he could not repress a start 
of dismay, while his miserable confederate collapsed on a sofa with 
a cry of horror. 

"This is very abrupt, Doctor," Raffles said, picking the case up 
and opening it. "May I ask if you are acting on the instructions of 
Mr. Holmes? It is, after all, with Mr. Holmes that I am dealing." 

"You are dealing with me now. That is the only fact you need to 

"But Mr. Holmes was entirely satisfied with the stone I handed 


"I am not here to argue. Will you comply with my request?" 

"It is disgraceful of Holmes to send you to tackle the pair of us 

"Mr. Holmes, you blackguard! And he knows nothing of what 
I am doing." 

"Really ? Then I can only say he does not deserve such a lieutenant. 
Well, Bunny, our triumph was, I fear, a little premature." 

A minute later, I was in the passage, the case containing the gen- 
uine stone in my breast pocket. Through the closed door there rang 
what I took to be the bitter, baffled laugh of an outwitted scoundrel. 
In general, I am of a somewhat sedate temper, but it was, I confess, 
in a mood which almost bordered on exultation that I drove back to 
Baker Street, and burst in on Holmes. 

"I've got it! I've got it!" I cried, waving the case. 

"Delirium tremens?" Holmes enquired coldly, from his arm-chair. 
I noticed that he was holding a revolver. 

"The original ruby, Holmes!" 

With a bound as of a panther Holmes leaped from his chair and 


snatched the case from my hand. "You idiot!" he snarled. "What have 

you done?" 

Vexed and bewildered, I told my story, while Holmes stared at 
me with heaving chest and flaming eyes. My readers will have guessed 
the truth, which Holmes flung at me in a few disconnected sentences, 
interspersed with personal observations of an extremely disparaging 
nature. It was indeed the original ruby which Raffles had brought 
with him, and which Holmes, suspecting that Raffles would attempt 
to retrieve it while he slept, had entrusted to my keeping. The warn- 
ing which Holmes had given Raffles not to visit him again was 
now explained, as was also the vigil with a loaded revolver on which 
my friend had embarked when I burst in on him. 

The arrest a fortnight later of Raffles and the man Bunny, and the 
restoration of the famous ruby to its lawful owner, will be familiar 
to all readers of the daily papers. During this period the extremely 
critical condition of General Macdonagh engaged my whole atten- 
tion. His decease was almost immediately followed by the unexpected 
deaths of two other patients, and in the general pressure of these sad 
events I was unable to visit Holmes in order to learn from his own 
lips the inner story of the final stages in this remarkable case. 

Detective: SHERLOCK HOLMES Narrator: WATSON 

Holmes, Sweet Holmes! 


Rachel Ferguson's NYMPHS AND SATIRES (London, Benn, 1932) 
is a veritable encyclopaedia of parodies. It is divided into six 
sections Theatrical, Vaudeville, Musical, Literary, Verse, and 
General. It was inevitable that the literary section, containing 
satires on George Bernard Shaw, P. G. Wodehouse, Elinor 
Glyn, and others, should also include a burlesque of Sherloc{ 
Holmes "with unfading gratitude to Conan Doyle' (which 
speaks for all of us). 

"His Last Scrape" pac^s an enormous amount of detail into 
its few pages. Here is no leisurely parody, but one which, to 
use H. Douglas Thomson's description of a detective short 
story, "is intensive, and with so little time to spare drives at 
express speed to the final issue." 

We liked especially that utterly bewildering moment when 
Holmes muttered: "Impossible AND WHAT OF THE SOUP?" 
And who could resist, in the final two words of the parody, 
Miss Ferguson's delicious pun on Doyle's own "Bruce -Par ting- 
ton plans"? 



.IMES are dull, Watson," said Sherlock Holmes reflectively, and 
taking up his violin, he played the first movement from Beethoven's 
Leonora No. 3. 

"Come, come, Holmes!" I exclaimed. "What of the Welsh Cottage, 
and the Supposed Murder of the Elderly Aunt by Her Fifteen-Year- 
Old Niece?" 

Sherlock Holmes toyed with an ounce of shag. "A simple case of 
probabilities, Watson. If you remember, I spent a weekend in a 


Shadwell slaughter-house sparring with a saddle of beef as much 
heavier than myself as the proportional strength of a hale woman of 
middle age and a child in her teens. Repeated blows upon the carcass 
resulted in no more than a slight displacement of suet, equivalent to an 
abrasion of the human skin, and in no wise fatal. The deduction was 
obvious. There was another factor at work in that remote cottage." 

He strolled to the window. "There is a man coming down Baker 
Street," he murmured. "I can see that he has no wife, lives on clay 
soil and is a vegetarian but let him tell us his story." Before I 
had time to interject: "Holmes, this is witchcraft!" the bell rang 
below. Our visitor was a man of middle height in a derby and check 
suit. "Pray be seated," said Holmes. "I perceive you to be absent- 
minded to the point of aberration, of solitary habits, and that you 
have recently become engaged to be married." 

"I am indeed, sir," answered the worthy fellow. Then his simple 
face clouded with astonishment. "But how did you know that, Mr. 

"Come, come," replied my friend, "when a man enters my rooms 
and hands me his railway-ticket instead of his visiting-card, he is a 
man whose thoughts are elsewhere. Had you been of convivial bent 
you would beyond question invest in a season ticket up to London. 
This is a Third return. The Mizpah ring upon your ringer suggests 
amorous entanglement; from the fact that it is brand-new the de- 
duction that the affair is of recent date is child's play." 

Accustomed as I am to the methods of my friend, I too was quick 
to grasp these details almost as soon as Holmes had pointed them out. 

"My name is Jarvis," began our visitor. "My father died leaving 
the bulk of his considerable wealth, together with Whytings, his 
country-seat, to my twin brother and myself. Under the terms of his 
will, whichever of us marries first enters into sole possession, the 
only stipulation being that the lady shall be of British birth. Five 
years ago, my brother, Ambrose, returned from Ceylon a hopeless 
invalid; he had lost a limb whilst scaling a tea-plant, and is bed- 
ridden. I confess to some annoyance at the prospect of the upset to 
my ordered life entailed by the presence of one who is practically a 
stranger to me. But, once settled in, he proved an acceptable inmate, 
until last summer. In the August of that year a snake fell on my 
head as I was ordering lunch " 


"What sort of a snake?" said Holmes sharply, joining his finger 

tips together. 

"A small one, with diamond markings." 
Holmes chuckled softly. "Pray continue, Mr. Jarvis, you interest 

me enormously." 

"In September began the horrible disturbances in the beech- 
grove - 

"Hah!" exclaimed Holmes, his sallow cheeks sharp with excite- 
ment, "and what time do these manifestations take place?" 

"At nine o'clock regularly every evening." 

"And what time do you dine?" 

"At seven." 

"Capital," said Holmes, relaxing, "you would make an excellent 

witness! Pray continue." 

"I can keep no servants. The house has got an unsavoury reputa- 
tion. My household now consists of a Burman, a Thug and a Dervish 
retainers of my brother." 

Holmes rose. "Your problem offers novel features, though of course 
in these cases the element of surprise is practically nil." 

As he spoke he put on his Inverness and deerstalker. "Watson, 
there is a Promenade concert at the Queen's Hall in ten minutes. 
After that, we can just catch the eleven-thirty to Slopshire." 

Whytings, not a large place, lies in an arm of the Slopshire hills, 
squat and slightly sinister. 

"Welcome," said our simple host. But Holmes was already upon 
his knees. He was not praying; he is, I believe, a Freethinker, a Pan- 
aesthetist (his little monograph upon Religions in the Swamps of 
Central America is a minor classic). 

During the next few days all fell out as our host had related. The 
disturbances occurred punctually every evening. On the fourth day 
there was a new development : the native staff disappeared. 

"With them vanishes the mystery of the beech-grove, gentlemen," 
said Holmes. He had spent that morning in throwing a loaded 
basket up at the invalid's bedroom window. The path, littered with 
plates, resembled a china shop in an earthquake. "Impossible - " he 
muttered "AND WHAT OF THE SOUP?" I confess I was a little net- 
tled at this want of confidence. He now looked up from his minute 


examination of the floor, and closed his lens. "We have nothing to 
learn here. We will now proceed to your brother's room, Mr. Jarvis." 

Suddenly he clapped his hand to his nose. "Dear me, gentlemen," 
he observed, "my nose is bleeding; may I trouble you for your hand- 
kerchiefs ? Mine, as you perceive, is already inadequate. Thank you." 

As we sat and chatted to the invalid, Holmes was seized with a 
paroxysm of sneezing. The fretful cripple proffered his handkerchief 
we had all searched our pockets in vain. Holmes groped for it 
and put it to his streaming eyes. Then he rose to his feet. 

"The game is up, Mr. Ambrose Jarvis," he said grimly. "You have 
been getting through a lot of reading lately." 

The result of this simple statement astonished us. The one-legged 
ex-tea-planter sprang out of bed and fell upon Holmes. 

"Watch the book-case, Watson!" yelled Holmes. The bogus crip- 
ple drew back, ashen. "I give up," he said, and collapsed. 

"It is as well, my friend," said Holmes. 

Striding to the book-case he cried, "Madam, you can come out, 
nobody will harm you!" 

I think we were all prepared for some apparition of horror; it 
was with a feeling of stupefaction that we witnessed the emerging 
from the concealed room the shelf had so cunningly masked of a 
charming Indian lady! 

"As simple a case as I have yet been concerned with," remarked 
Sherlock Holmes as we reclined in our rooms in Baker Street. "Let 
me reconstruct it for you. Here we have two brothers; one has 
travelled much in the East. He learns of his father's death and of 
the terms of his will as nice an incentive to crime as was ever framed 
by lawyers! The snake put me on the trail; those diamond markings 
are peculiar to certain tracts of Ceylon; this reptile is not indigenous to 
our isles. This brother returns, then, and tries by every means to rid 
himself of his rival. Why? Why should he fear his brother if he 
himself has played the game? Is not this suggestive? It is a workable 
hypothesis to assume that he has contracted an alliance with a native 
lady. Where was she concealed? That, for me, was the root of the 

"But the disturbances, Holmes?" 

"Bunkum. Rockets, lanterns, native war-cries. The storm-centre 


was within. Why did they occur at nine every night? Obviously this 
punctuality pointed to the fact that it was essential at a fixed hour to 
distract the attention of our client to the grounds. What hours are 
so fixed as those of meals? The brothers dine at seven. The dis- 
turbances occur at nine. When you caught me throwing a basket 
up at the window I was endeavouring to ascertain if it were pos- 
sible for confederates to cast sustenance into the house from without. 
The result showed me it was not. Therefore the food was delivered 
from inside. Any doubts I might have had were set at rest after I 
had secured the native servants in the larder. The disturbances in- 
stantly ceased, which pointed to human agency. The dust on the 
floor of the invalid's bedroom accumulated, and enabled me to per- 
ceive with the naked eye the prints of two bare feet going in the 
direction of the book-case. With regard to the nose-bleeding," he 
added with a smile, "I plead guilty. I was seeking the feminine touch. 
To do this, it was necessary to confiscate all available male handker- 
chiefs in the house, for I knew that you, with your lovable density, 
would give the game away by offering me your own. The handker- 
chief lent me by our 'one-legged' friend put the finishing touch. It was 
heavy with hibiscus perfume very popular among the ladies of 
Colombo. These trifles these trefles I might call them, should not 
be overlooked. 
"And now let us turn our attention to the affair of the missing 

Booth Tarkington proofs." 


Narrator: WATSON 



Frederic Dorr Steele is the 
most distinguished Amer- 
ican illustrator of Sher- 
lock^ Holmes. On second 
thought, we can safely 
cross out the word "Amer- 
ican." Worshipers at the 
shrine of Sherloc\ will al- 
ways owe a huge vote of 
thanks to that inspired art 
director of "Collier's" who 
first commissioned Fred- 
eric Dorr Steele to draw 
those splendid magazine 

If there is one fly in the 
inkpot, if there is one smudge on the brush, it is the profound 
regret that Mr. Steele has illustrated only jo of the 60 Sherloc\ 
Holmes stories in print. We fervently hope that when the newly 
discovered short story, "The Man Who Was Wanted" is finally 
released for publication it will be the "hand of Steele" that de- 
picts the great manhunter. 

Shortly before THE MISADVENTURES went to press, your Editors 
purchased an original drawing of Sherloc\ Holmes from Mr. 
Steele. The illustration is one almost unknown even to the 
inner circle: a large blue-white-and-blact^ drawing of Holmes 
and Watson examining the dead body of Selden under the 
"cold, clear moon" of the Devonshire moor. This superb piece 
of worl^ was done in /pjp for Twentieth Century Fox, to ad- 


vertise the motion-picture version of THE HOUND OF THE BASKER- 
VILLES, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. 

When the drawing arrived, your Editors dranJ^ it in. Then 
we noticed a queer thing about it: the deer stalker ed head of 
Sherloc^ was drawn on an irregular piece of board pasted into 
the larger board. Scenting a mystery ("The Adventure of the 
Second Head"), we as\ed Mr. Steele if he remembered any 
tidbit of history connected with that paste-in. 

"No" he said, "nothing at all interesting" 

"You simply didn't like the first head you drew" we said, 
"and replaced it with a second one before sending the drawing 
to Twentieth Century Fox?" 

"Oh, no" Mr. Steele replied. "I drew that new head only a 
wee\ ago just before sending it to you." 

It too{ a few moments for Mr. Steele' s soft-spoken and al- 
most casual reply to sin\ in. Then we grasped the full impli- 
cations. Long after the drawing had been finished, years after 
it had served its commercial purpose, four years in fact after 
it had been bought and paid for by Twentieth Century Fox, 
Mr. Steele was still wording on it, still improving it and for 
no other reason than the sheer love of his subject! And Mr. 
Steele thought there was nothing interesting about that! 

Can you conceive of a more revealing anecdote about Mr. 
Steele? Do you realize now the enormous and enduring affec- 
tion Mr. Steele must have for that extraordinary figment of 
the imagination \nown in every noo{ of the world as Sherloc^ 

"The Adventure of the Murdered Art Editor" appeared first 
in SPOOFS (New Yor\, McBride, 1933), edited by Richard But- 
ler Glaenzer. Mr. Steele wrote two other parody-pastiches of 
his favorite fiction hero: 

"The Adventure of the Missing Hatrac{" in "The Players 
Bulletin" issue of October 75, 7926; reprinted in THE 
PLAYERS' BOOK, a volume published in 1938, the $oth year of 
the Club. 

"The Attempted Murder of Malcolm Duncan" in "The 
Players Bulletin" issue of June i, 1932. 



T WAS on a dark, misting day in March 1933, that Sherlock Holmes 
stamped into our lodgings in Baker Street, threw off his dripping 
raincoat and sank into an armchair by the fire, his head bowed for- 
ward in deepest dejection. 

At length he spoke. "Of all the cases we have had to deal with, 
Watson, none touches us more nearly than this." He tossed over a 
damp copy of the Mail, with an American despatch reading as fol- 


New York, March 27. (AP) The partially dismembered body of 
Elijah J. Grootenheimer was found today in a canvas-covered box 
which had been left on the curb in loth Street near the East River. 
The face had been horribly mutilated by beating with some blunt 
instrument. Identification was made by means of a letter in the 
pocket of the dead man's coat, addressed to him and signed Frederic 
Dorr Steele. The police decline to give out the contents of this letter, 
but intimate that it was threatening in tone. Steele is an artist well 
known for his pictures illustrating Sherlock Holmes and other mys- 
tery tales, and it is thought that brooding over these stories may 
have affected his mind. The motive of the crime clearly was not rob- 
bery, since $4.80 in cash and a valuable ticket for the Dutch Treat 
Show were found undisturbed in his pockets. Steele's last known 
address was a garret in East loth Street. Search has been made for 
him in his usual haunts, but thus far without success. 

"Ah, but this is incredible impossible!" I exclaimed. "Poor Steele 
wouldn't hurt a fly." 

We sat in silence for a time, drawn together by our common 
anxiety. From time to time during some thirty years, beginning with 
"The Return of Sherlock Holmes," this Steele had been making il- 
lustrations for my little narratives. Though an American, he seemed 
a decent unobjectionable fellow who did his work conscientiously, 
and we had grown rather fond of him. His naive simplicity and 
quaint American speech amused Holmes, who relished oddities 
among human beings in all walks of life. 

"I can't make it out," I said. "What does it all mean?" 


"It means, my dear Watson," said Holmes briskly, dragging out 
his old kit bag, "that you and I must catch the Berengaria at South- 
ampton tomorrow morning." 

We had fine weather as we sped westward. Holmes spent most 
of his waking hours pacing the deck, looking in now and again at 
the radio room for news of which there was none. His nerves 
were as usual under iron control, but little indications of strain were 
plain to me who knew him so well; as for example when he ab- 
stractedly poured his glass of wine into the captain's soup plate, or 
when, on the boat deck, he suddenly picked up Lady Buxham's 
Pekinese and hurled it over the rail into the sea. 

"Steady, Holmes," I said stanchly. "You must give yourself more 

"I cannot rest, Watson," he said, "until we have probed this hideous 

mystery to the bottom." 

"Have you a theory?" I asked. "Surely you don't believe that that 
poor fellow has murdered an editor in cold blood!" 

"Hot or cold, the thing is possible," said Holmes crisply. "It is 
well known that editors, especially art editors, are usually scoundrels, 
and sometimes able scoundrels, which makes them more dangerous 
to society. It is conceivable that our poor artist, after a lifetime of 
dealing with them, may have come to the end of his patience. Even 
a worm " He broke oft moodily and resumed his pacing of the 

When we reached New York, and Holmes had suffered with ill- 
disguised impatience the formal civilities of the Mayor's Committee 
for Distinguished Guests, we established ourselves in a hotel where 
English travelers had told us we might be assured of finding food 
properly prepared. But without waiting for even a kipper and a 
pot of tea, Holmes disappeared, and I did not see him again for three 

When he reappeared he looked haggard and worn. "I have seen 
the garret studio," he said. 

"Have you a clue to Steele's whereabouts?" I asked. 

"A small one," he returned. "In fact, just sixteen millimeters long." 
He produced from his wallet a bit of cinema film. "I found it on the 
floor, Watson. What do you make of it?" 


I held it to the light. "Well, I see a picture of a little girl and some 
queer-looking structures like giant mouse-traps behind her." 

"Those mouse-traps, Watson, are lobster pots, and of a type peculiar 
to the coast of Maine. W T e are on the track of our man." 

On a foggy day in May our motor boat crunched against the 
barnacle-covered timbers of the wharf at a small wooded island, on 
which stood perhaps twoscore bare gray buildings. Holmes wasted 
no time. To the leather-visaged lobsterman who had caught our bow 
line he said, "Sir, we are in quest of a certain artist, said to reside 
somewhere on your most picturesque coast. Do you know of any 
artist on this island?" 

"Well, we used to know one, but he ain't any artist any longer. He 
itches all the time." 

"Itches!" I said. "Perhaps, Holmes, that may be our man. He has 
a nervous temperament. He may have developed hives or some such 

"Splendid, Watson. Your deduction is sound, but it is based on 
an incorrect pronunciation." 

"But I don't see " I began. 

"You never see, my good Watson," said Holmes with a touch of 

"He lives down in that shack by the Cove," said the lobsterman. 
"But if you callate to go down there you want to be careful. He bites." 

"Bites!" I said in amazement. 

"Yeah. Sid, here, was down there yesterday, with a mess o' tinkers, 
and got chased out. He said he was biting. I guess he's gone kind 
o' nutty-like, seems though." 

"Is his name by any chance Steele?" asked Holmes. 

"Seems like it was. But he calls himself Seymour Haden now." 

"Seymour Haden!" I exclaimed. "That is the name of a great 

"Precisely," said Holmes dryly. "He used to itch too." 

Dreading a possible shock to our friend's mind, we approached 
him cautiously. He sat at a table in his little house, bent over a metal 
plate immersed in some villainous blue acid. 

"Do you know us, Steele?" I asked timidly. 


After a moment he turned his head toward us and we saw a wild 
gleam in his bloodshot eyes. His disheveled hair and beard and his 
grimy clothes made him uncouth, even repulsive in appearance. "I 
can't get up now. I'm biting a plate," he said. 

"Another mystery solved," observed Holmes quietly. 

"Don't you know us ?" I repeated. "We have come all the way from 
London to find you." 

"Sure I know you. You probably want me to illustrate another 
crime. I killed a man for less than that," said the artist vehemently. 

"I daresay. I daresay," Holmes said soothingly. "But we're not 
hunting crimes now. We just want to help you." 

"But you can't help me!" he shouted. "I have been a doomed man 
for thirty years. Ever since I began making pictures for your damned 
stories, those editors have called me a crime artist. No matter what 
else I do, they still try to feed me raw blood. But I got square with 
'em. They made a criminal of me, and now, by Heaven, I've com- 
mitted a perfect crime on one of them. And there are more to come, 
Mr. Holmes, more to come!" 

After this outburst he turned his back on us again. 

"Come, come," said Holmes gently, "we mustn't get excited. Think 
a minute. Is that why you have come off here and left all your friends 
hidden from the world?" 

"Yes, Mr. Holmes. And that is why I have had this old well cleaned 
out: I am going to fill it with editors' blood. It will take quite a lot 
of editors to fill it, but I have hopes." 

We saw that it was useless to pursue the conversation further and 
rose to depart. 

"Well, then, go take a walk," he said, "take the path straight over 
Light House Hill to White Head. After that you'd better come back 
here. I can give you a crust and perhaps a bit of short lobster if 
you're not too legally minded." 

We crossed the island to the cliffs and stood for a time looking into 
the blue haze. "Strange, isn't it, Watson," Holmes reflected, "that 
crime and madness can lurk in so peaceful a spot. ... I hate to do it, 
but I must question him further." 

"But I say, Holmes, would it be quite sporting," I protested, "now 
that we are his guests?" But Holmes was resolute. 
When we returned to the little house at sunset, we found its owner 


composed. We talked quietly together of his life on the island, where, 
he said, he meant to end his days. Only one subject seemed to bring 
on a return of abnormality, the subject of editors. 

"There is a big cavern up the shore," he said, "that I've got rilled 
solid full of dynamite. There's a big boulder over it, and if an editor 
ever comes to this island, I'm going to pry it loose. . . ." 

"But these editors," said Holmes gently. "Aren't they human be- 

"Not after they become editors," was the reply. "They are machines. 
Machines that buy merchandise by the yard, put it in pigeon holes, 
label it. . . ." 

"Look here, my dear fellow," said Holmes, "you are happy here, 
aren't you? You are not bloodthirsty about other people fishermen 
for example?" 

"Oh, no." 

"Well, then, I think Watson and I will go back to England and 
leave you in peace. You will be safe here. No one need ever know." 

Two weeks later we were back in the old rooms in Baker Street. 
There had been no further developments in the Grootenheimer case. 
The police had given up the search for the missing artist, and now 
thought that the editor might have been killed by some Modernist 
or other deranged person. 

But Holmes's watchful eye had caught this curious PERSONAL ad- 
vertisement in the New Yorf( Times: "WANTED, an Art Editor, as 
companion for a summer vacation in Maine. All expenses paid. 
Must be full-blooded American." 

"Poor soul," I said musingly, "no doubt his sorrows have driven 
him mad. But somehow I am not convinced that his crime is real. 
It may be entirely imaginary." 

"Quite," said Holmes. 

"No one could blame him, of course." 






Here is one of the most daring "pastiches" ever to claim ad- 
mission to the Sacred Canon. In this story hold your hat! 
Sherloc^ Holmes is in effect a woman! 

We can than{ two authors, one an Englishman, the other an 
American, for this amazing state of affairs. The hands-across- 
the-sea collaboration postulates that Holmes has married and is 
now blessed with a grown-up daughter; that her name, most 
appropriately, is Shirley Holmes; that quite naturally Shirley 
follows in the footsteps of her illustrious father; that just as 
naturally her adventures, memoirs, and cases are recorded by 
none other than the daughter of Dr. John Watson, named with 
equal appropriateness Joan Watson! 

Shirley Holmes first appeared in print in THE ADVENTURE OF 
THE QUEEN BEE, a four-part serial in "Mystery" magazine, issues 
of July, August, September, and October 1933. This tale was 
adapted by Frederic Arnold Kummer from the London stage 
play by Basil Mitchell, which was produced with the consent 
and approval of Lady Conan Doyle. The debut of Shirley 
Holmes, in drama and novelette, was so successful that she "re- 
turned" (again emulating her famous father} in the December 
1933 issue of the same magazine and it is this return engage- 
ment we now bring you. 

Gentlemen, the Sherlocfyan stag-party is over . . . We wel- 
come the one and only feminine facsimile of The Great Man to 
our innermost circle. 



.s SHIRLEY HOLMES and I descended the steps of the North Tran- 
sept at Canterbury Cathedral she suddenly seized my arm. 

"Look, Joan!" she whispered. "There! On the slab!" ' 

I peered through the stained-glass gloom ahead of us, my heart 
pounding. Even though the celebrated murder of Thomas a Becket 
was a seven-century-old affair, the ancient stone which is popularly 
supposed to mark the spot where he perished still attracts many sight- 
seers, some of whom make a practice of prostrating themselves upon 
it in silent devotion. There was a figure lying on the slab now . . . 
the figure of a man, and but for a certain grotesqueness in his attitude 
I might have supposed him to be merely one of these pious pilgrims, 
paying his respects to the sainted bishop. But the moment my eyes 
fell upon his sprawling form I drew back, shuddering, striving to re- 
main as calm as Shirley. 

He was a young man, clean-shaven, with rather long, untidy hair. 
The soft white shirt beneath his tweed sports jacket was open at the 
neck; his wrinkled flannel trousers, his scuffed and dusty shoes, sug- 
gested the tourist, the hiker. 

I did not, however, grasp all these details in that first terrified in- 
stant. Shirley still held my arm in her slim, strong grasp. 

"Don't scream!" she commanded, her voice reassuringly cool. A 
moment later we were bending over the figure. 

He lay on his breast, with his head turned to one side. His right 
arm was doubled under him, his left outstretched, and in his left hand 
he clutched a small, open notebook. I saw Shirley's finger tips rest 
for an instant upon that inert wrist, then she stood up, her eyes nar- 

"Joan!" she murmured, glancing swiftly about. "You'd better fetch 
somebody . . . quick!" 

I ran up the stone steps, my brain whirling. As the more or less 
modest chronicler of Shirley Holmes's adventures I had complained 
to her only that morning of the dullness of life since her amazing ex- 
ploits in the case of the stolen Queen Bee, but I am quite sure that 
neither of us expected to come upon anything exciting in the course 
of a peaceful afternoon's visit to Canterbury Cathedral. I glanced 


about the dim old building, wondering to whom I had best apply 
for help. 

Not far away I saw the verger, holding forth on the martyrdom of 
the unfortunate Becket to a group of visiting tourists. I went up to 
him, managed to attract his attention. 

"If you please!" I said. "I'd like to speak to you. . . ." 

The verger frowned. It annoyed him to have his little lecture in- 

"What about, miss?" he asked gruffly. 

"There . . . there's been an accident!" I whispered. "You'd best 
come at once!" 

Still frowning, the verger turned the group over to one of his as- 
sistants and accompanied me back to the point where Shirley stood. 

"What's the trouble here?" he grumbled. 

Shirley glanced up; I thought her face, in the shadows, unusually 

"This man has been stabbed through the heart!" she said quietly. 
"He's dead!" 

"What?" The verger's jaw sagged; in his astonishment his voice 
became a mere squeak. "Dead! Good God." He ran swiftly down the 
short flight of steps. "How did it happen?" 

"I haven't the least idea," Shirley replied calmly. "Miss Watson and 
I " she glanced at me "found him lying here a few moments ago. 
He hasn't been dead very long ... the body is still warm. I advise 
you to send for a doctor . . . call in the police at once! And as a pre- 
caution, I think the doors of the building should be closed!" 

The verger, having at last grasped the situation, acted promptly. 
Going to the head of the steps he signaled to one of his assistants, 
gave the necessary orders without alarming the group of visitors near 
the altar, then hurried to the main entrance. 

I looked at Shirley. Did her suggestion that the doors of the build- 
ing be closed mean that the man had been murdered? If so, the order, 
I feared, came too late. Whoever had committed the crime, if crime 
it was, had already been allowed ample time to escape. But Shirley 
did not seem disturbed; as she stood there, her figure alert and tense, 
her fine, aquiline features thrown into relief by her short, blonde hair, 
I was again struck, as I had so often been in the past, by her astonish- 


ing resemblance at times like this to her celebrated father, Sherlock 

"You say the man has been stabbed?" I asked curiously. 

"Yes," Shirley nodded. "With a silver pencil, of all things. If you'll 
bend down you can see the end of it, between the fingers of his 
right hand." 

I did as she directed. The pencil, a heavy one, had been driven 
through the young man's shirt straight into his heart. Since it still 
plugged the wound there was almost no bleeding; the circulation had 
ceased with the stopping of his heartbeats. But I could not quite un- 
derstand why the dead man clutched the pencil in his fingers. That 
suggested suicide, rather than murder. 

"Do you suppose he could have done it himself?" I whispered. 
"Have placed the sharp point of the pencil against his breast and then 
deliberately fallen forward with all his weight? From the way he's 
holding the end of it in his fingers . . ." 

"It's possible," Shirley said, but I saw that for some reason unknown 
to me she did not think so. 

I glanced at the notebook in the man's outstretched hand. It was 
clearly new and on the very first page of it two lines had been written 
in the form of a verse. I read them aloud. 

"Oh, who could find a nobler fate 
Than death where died the good and great." 

"Why, Shirley!" I exclaimed. "It's a poem about himself and . . . 
Thomas a Becket! A sort of farewell message, I should say!" 

"Yes," Shirley agreed. "It could certainly be so interpreted. I won- 
der if he wrote it." 

"Then you still think the man was murdered? After reading that?" 

"I do. But the police won't, I imagine. Here they come now. You'd 
better not say anything about my opinion. Let them form their own." 

I looked up. Two worried policemen were hastening down the 
aisle, accompanied by the verger and a small, thin man in civilian's 
clothes whom I took to be a doctor. A third had taken charge of the 
startled group of tourists. 

The doctor proceeded at once to examine the body while one of the 
two officers who had joined us, a beetle-browed sergeant, turned to 


Shirley and myself and curtly demanded our names. But the moment 
Shirley told him who she was, his frowns vanished, and when I re- 
marked that I was the daughter of Dr. Watson he fairly beamed. 

"Have either of you young ladies ever seen this man before?" he 

"No," Shirley said, shaking her head. "We haven't. Miss Watson 
and I arrived at the Cathedral about half-past three. The party of 
tourists didn't particularly attract us, so we came straight along here 
. . . and found the body lying on the slab. I sent Miss Watson for 
help, and she brought the verger. . . ." 

"That's right!" the latter nodded. "My assistant at the door tells me 
the young fellow came in, alone, a little before three. He remembers 
the man particularly, on account of his long wavy hair. The party 
of tourists arrived about ten minutes later and I took them in charge 
at once." 

"Bring them over here?" the sergeant questioned. 

"Oh, yes. All visitors want to see the slab. . . ." 

"Then some of them must have noticed the young man." 

"I don't doubt they did, sir." 

"Find out, Harris," the sergeant said, turning to his companion. 
"And get all their names and addresses." 

"There's something written in here, sir," announced the policeman, 
indicating the dead man's notebook. "Looks like a farewell message 
to me." He strode off. 

The sergeant read the verse aloud, nodding. 

"Think it could be a suicide, Doctor?" he asked. 

"Why, yes ... it could. Unusual, but by no means unprecedented. 
The noble Romans, when they were tired of life, usually fell on their 
swords, didn't they? That silver pencil, almost as sharp as a needle, 
didn't need much force behind it to penetrate to the heart. The weight 
of his body, against the stone slab, would have done it. And with the 
butt end of the pencil clutched in his fingers . . . that farewell mes- 
sage in his book . . ." He shrugged. 

Harris, the other policeman, now came back, bringing several of 
the wide-eyed tourists with him. All remembered seeing the young 
man sitting on the steps half an hour before. He had held his head 
in his hands as if praying. One gray-haired woman testified that in 


going down to look at the slab she had accidentally trodden on the 
open notebook, lying on the steps at the young man's side. When she 
apologized he had glanced up and nodded. This, according to the 
verger, was at a quarter past three. 

"Miss Watson and I found the body at twenty minutes to four," 
Shirley volunteered. "I took the time immediately, of course." She 
smiled at the sergeant, as though he would appreciate her caution. 
"He can't have been dead over twenty-five minutes." 

"Rather less, if anything," said the doctor, who was searching the 
young man's pockets. "Nothing here to identify him," he went on, 
placing some keys, a small pile of money, a pipe and pouch of tobacco 
on the floor. 

Shirley went to the steps and sat in approximately the same posi- 
tion the young man had occupied when seen by the tourists. 

"Would you mind, madam," she asked the gray-haired woman, 
"going down to look at the slab just as you did before?" 

"Why . . . not at all." Somewhat mystified, the woman descended 
the short flight of steps, went up again. 

"Thanks!" Shirley rose, her eyes shining, and stood beside the 
young man's body. "You can see plainly, Sergeant," she continued, 
pointing, "the print of this lady's shoe on the open page of the note- 
book. There. Very faint, of course . . . under the penciled verse. 
Which would seem to show that he wrote it after the verger's party 
came by . . ." 

"No doubt." The sergeant nodded. "Any of you recognize the fel- 
low?" he went on, addressing the little group. "Suppose you step 
down and look. Bring the rest of them over, Harris. If possible we 
must get the body identified." 

But although the score or more of visitors trooped dutifully down 
to where the dead man lay not one of them, so they declared, was able 
to throw any light upon his identity. 

"Very well!" The sergeant snapped a rubber band about his note- 
book, placed it in his pocket. "That's all. You'll be wanted, at the 
inquest most likely, young ladies," he went on to Shirley and me. "If 
we need any of the rest of you people, you'll be notified." With a 
nod he dismissed the little group. 

Shirley stood watching them and I felt sure, from my knowledge 
of her, that the features, the general appearance, of each one was 


being recorded by her acute and sensitive brain. When they had 
drifted off to continue their sightseeing in care of the verger, she took 
me by the arm. 

"What about tea?" she said. 

But as soon as we had passed the doors of the Cathedral I realized 
that her mind was set on other things than tea. Watching carefully 
for a moment to make sure that no one had followed us from the 
building she drew me toward her car. 

"Hurry, darling," she whispered. "We have work to do!" 

I stared at her, astonished. 

"Apparently you still think it wasn't a case of suicide?" I remarked, 

as we got in. 

"Suicide my grandmother!" snapped Shirley, glancing through 
the rear window of the car. "One of the most daring murders I've ever 
come across!" 

"I don't see why you think so," I objected. 

"It's simple enough! The dead man was left-handed! And left- 
handed people don't stab themselves with their right hands!" 

"How do you know he was left-handed?" 

"Because the fingernails of his left hand were much more worn 
and broken than those of his right! Because between the thumb and 
forefinger of his left hand was a dark smudge, made by the silver 
pencil when he wrote with it! Because he carried his money in his 
left-hand trousers' pocket! And because that woman I asked to walk 
down the steps ... the one who trod on his notebook . . . passed 
to the right side of him!" 

"But ... I don't see what that shows." 

"You would, if you thought a moment. A left-handed man would 
hold a notebook in his right hand, wouldn't he? And if he laid it 
down on the steps beside him it would be at his right side . . . just 
where that woman stepped on it!" 

"But he had it in his left hand when we found him!" 

"Which clearly proves that the murderer, when he put it there, 

either forgot, or didn't know, that the young fellow was left-handed!" 

"Shirley! You're . . . wonderful!" I gasped. 

"The killer came up behind him, no doubt," Shirley went on, "as 

he was sitting on the steps with his head in his hands. Throttled him 

to silence with one arm about his neck . . . snatched up the pencil 


with the other and stabbed him to the heart! Then lowered him on 
the slab, thrust the handle of the pencil into his right hand, the note- 
book into his left, and walked off ... after searching the body. . . ." 

"How do you know it was searched?" 

"One of the pockets was turned inside out. I looked through them 
myself, while you were calling the verger. Stuffed in his tobacco pouch 
I found this." She took a crumpled paper from her purse. 

I read the words on it, written in a crabbed, feminine hand. 

Received of Eric Sefton 30 shillings for one week's board and lodg- 
ing in advance. MRS. ELLEN CHOWN Dover Road. 

"We're going there now," Shirley murmured. "To see Mrs. Chown. 
His landlady, it appears. The receipt, you may have noticed, is dated 
the day before yesterday!" 

"But shouldn't we have told the police?" 

"Yes. But they'll find out soon enough. And I wanted to get there 
first. Even now we may be too late!" She glanced at the house be- 
fore which we presently drew up ... a small but very homelike cot- 
tage on the edge of the town. "Let me do the talking, Joan," she 
went on, as we hurried to the door. 

The middle-aged woman who opened it for us seemed, I thought, 
a bit startled. 

"Mr. Sefton isn't in,", she said, "but I'm looking for him back at 
any moment." 

"I'm afraid he won't be back at all, Mrs. Chown," Shirley said 
gravely. "A young man answering his description was found dead in 
Canterbury Cathedral this afternoon . . ." 

Mrs. Chown sagged against the door frame, her expression dis- 

"Oh ... the poor young fellow!" she murmured. "My daughter 
will be terribly upset!" 

"She was a friend of his, then?" 

"In a way, miss. They'd got to know each other quite well, in the 
short time he'd been here. Such a nice young man!" She wiped a sug- 
gestion of tears from her eyes. "Mabel was real fond of him." 

"If we might come in for a moment," Shirley said quickly, "I'd 
like to ask you a few questions. My friend and I" she glanced at me 
"are journalists from London." This was true enough, as far as / 


was concerned, at least. Shirley might have been anything, from a 
duchess down. 

"Why ... of course." Mrs. Chown ushered us into her small, plain 
parlor. "I'll be glad to tell you what little I know. Mr. Sefton arrived 
here about ten days ago. A writer, he said he was, a poet, on a walk- 
ing tour for his vacation, and wanted lodgings for the night. The 
next day he liked his room so much he thought he would stay on, and 
paid a week's board in advance. The day before yesterday he paid for 
a second week. A very quiet respectable young man; spent most of 
his time in his room. My daughter, Mabel, who works for Frost & 
Chandler's, the florists, in town, used to talk to him, evenings. She 
rides to work every day on her bicycle, but of course, at night - 

"I see," interrupted Shirley quickly, and I saw that she was tre- 
mendously interested. "Mr. Sefton didn't go out much, then?" 

"Scarcely at all, miss, since he came. He wouldn't have gone to 
Canterbury today, he told me, if he hadn't wanted to get his hair cut." 

"He was left-handed, wasn't he?" Shirley asked. 

"He was, miss. But very quick with tools, just the same. I know, 
because he put a new stopper on the water butt for me. And fixed 
my rustic rose arbor, when the storm last week blew it down. And 
mended the broken kitchen step, just as good as new. You wouldn't 
think a writer would be so handy with tools." 

"You certainly wouldn't," Shirley agreed. "Did he have many 
callers, Mrs. Chown?" 

"Not a one, miss, all the time he was here, until this afternoon." 

"This afternoon?" Shirley's eyes were snapping. 

"Why . . . yes, miss. The man who came just before you did. A 
friend of Mr. Sefton's, he said, with a message for him . . ." 

"Did you let him go up to Mr. Sefton's room?" 

"Why . . . yes, miss. How did you know?" 

"I suspected it," Shirley replied, frowning. "What did he want 

"To leave him a note, he said . . ." 

"Oh!" Shirley rose. "I was afraid we'd be too late. Will you let us 
see his room, too, Mrs. Chown?" 

"Why ... I don't know of any objection." The landlady went to 
the door. "There's really nothing in it ... the poor fellow only 
brought a knapsack. Come this way." 


We hurried up the stairs. Mrs. Chown's statements about the young 
man's room were borne out by the facts. His knapsack, empty, hung 
on the back of the door. Its contents, a meager supply of shirts, socks 
and underwear, had been arranged in the drawers of the dresser. The 
small wooden table contained only a few gaudy- magazines, with no' 
sign of poems or literary work of any other nature to be seen. In fact 
there was not a letter or scrap of paper in the place . . . not even the 
note the young man's caller was supposed to have left for him. 

"He must have changed his mind," Mrs. Chown muttered, her old 
eyes troubled. "When he came down, he asked me about Mabel . . . 
wanted to know where she worked." 

"Indeed!" said Shirley, who was making a meticulous search of the 
room. "What did this friend look like?" 

"He was medium-tail," the landlady replied, "smooth-shaved, and 
had on a gray suit ... or was it blue ... ?" 

"How old?" Shirley groaned, realizing the uncertainty of all such 

"Around thirty, I'd say." 

Shirley led the way down the stairs. From her expression I was cer- 
tain that she had not discovered a single clue of any value in solving 
the mystery. But her face still wore its gay and indomitable smile. 

"Wouldn't you like to show us your rose garden, Mrs. Chown?" 
she said, as we reached the lower hall. "I adore flowers." 

"I'd be proud to," the landlady replied. "Come this way." She led 
us to the kitchen, opened the rear door. "Here's the step Mr. Sefton 
fixed for me," she went on, as we passed into the garden. "Concrete. 
Much stronger than the old one was. And there's the rose arbor he 
mended." She indicated a rustic trellis covered with a mass of crimson 
blossoms. "The wind had knocked it flat. My larkspur and primroses 
are doing very well, don't you think?" 

"They are indeed," Shirley agreed, but I saw that she was not in- 
terested, and after a few moments she put out her hand. "Thanks for 
your kindness, Mrs. Chown," she went on. "And don't say anything 
to the police about our having been here, will you ? They rather ob- 
ject to journalists butting in." She shook hands with the old lady and 
a moment later we were on our way back to the car. 

"The murderer didn't find what he wanted when he searched the 
body," Shirley said, "or he wouldn't have come here." 


"Do you think he found it here?" I inquired. 

"That," Shirley smiled, "depends on whether he has gone to see 
Mrs. Chown's daughter. Since we are about to interview the young 
lady ourselves we shall soon know." She added another five miles to 
the speed of her small, smart roadster. "One thing is clear . . . Mr. 
Sefton was no poet. Did you notice the way the step, and that rose 
arbor, were mended ? Skillful work, my dear Joan. Our young friend, 
without meaning to do so, told the world that he was a first-class 
mechanic." She did not speak again until we drew up before the 
expensive-looking shop of Messrs. Frost & Chandler. 

Miss Chown, a sharp-eyed, good-looking girl, was waiting on a cus- 
tomer when we came in, but presently joined us. 

"You want to see me?" she asked, her manner apprehensive. 

"Yes." Shirley laid her hand on the girl's arm. "About that man 
who called here . . . talked with you, this afternoon. The young 
man in a gray suit?" 

"He wasn't young," Miss Chown objected. "Forty, at least. And his 
suit wasn't gray ... it was tan . . ." 

"My mistake," Shirley murmured, giving me a triumphant glance. 
"Would you mind telling me what he wanted?" 

The girl's eyes narrowed, at this. 

"Why should I?" she asked. "Who are you?" 

Shirley did not pursue the fiction of our being journalists. 

"Miss Chown," she said gravely, "a desperate crime was committed 
in Canterbury Cathedral this afternoon. A young man, known to you 
as Eric Sefton, was deliberately murdered there!" She tightened her 
grip on the girl's arm as the latter swayed against the counter. "Don't 
do anything to attract attention, please, but I suspect that this man 
who came to see you was his murderer. He believes himself safe, for 
the time being at least, because the police think Mr. Sefton committed 
suicide. Please tell me, as briefly as you can, what the fellow wanted." 

Miss Chown passed her hand across her eyes; it was clear that the 
news of Mr. Sef ton's death had come as a great shock. 

"Are ... are you sure it was . . . Eric?" she whispered. 

"Not absolutely," Shirley said. "I am going to ask you, when we 
leave here, to go to the police . . . identify his body. But first tell me 
why that man came to see you." 
"He ... he wanted to know," Miss Chown stammered, "if ... if 


Eric had given me anything of value to keep for him. He said he was 
a friend of Eric's and had been looking for him all the afternoon. It 
seems that unless he could produce this . . . this article . . . im- 
mediately, Eric would lose a great deal of money." 

"He didn't tell you what it was?" 


"Or that Mr. Sefton was dead?" 

"Oh, no. He said he'd been trying to find him." 

"And what did you say?" 

"That Eric never gave me anything to keep for him at all ... that 
I knew nothing about his affairs. Finally the man went away. But I 
was frightened, because . . . because Mr. Sefton did tell me that . . . 
that somebody might try to rob him, and that was why he was afraid 
to go out. . . ." 

"Rob him of what?" 

"I don't know. He never said. But it must have been something he 
carried in his knapsack, because, when he first came, he wouldn't 
let the thing out of his sight. Later on, after he unpacked it, he 
didn't seem to care. . . ." 

Shirley stood staring at the girl without seeing her; there was a 
queer, clairvoyant look in her eyes that told me her thoughts were 
far away. Presently she shook her head with a swift, decisive gesture, 
glanced at her watch. 

"Half -past five!" she said. "You close at six, I imagine. Get your 
hat, Miss Chown! I'll arrange with the proprietors for you to leave!" 
She hurried to the small office at the rear of the shop and returned 
almost immediately with a slim, gray-haired gentleman who assured 
the sales-girl she was at liberty to go for the day. A moment later we 
were climbing into Shirley's car. 

We did not, however, drive at once to the police station, but made 
a short stop at what appeared to be a newspaper office on the way. 
Shirley, although she left us for ten minutes, offered no explanations, 
and presently we were once more facing the beetle-browed sergeant 
who had questioned us at the Cathedral. 

"Have you found out who the dead man was?" she asked. 

"Not yet," replied the sergeant, eyeing us curiously, "but we are ex- 
pecting reports at almost any moment." 

"I think this girl may be able to identify him," S'hirley went on. 


"Her name is Chown . , . Mabel Chown . . . and she works for 
Frost & Chandler, the florists. Unless I am very much mistaken the 
young man was a boarder at her mother's house." 

The sergeant did not, as I feared he might, question Shirley con- 
cerning the source of her information. Perhaps the magic name of 
Sherlock Holmes lent her a certain glamour. Instead he turned to 
Miss Chown. 

"Come with me, please," he said, going to the door. "Since I don't 
suppose you care to visit the mortuary, Miss Holmes," he went on, "I 
suggest that you and Miss Watson wait here." 

When they had gone I turned to Shirley. 

"He still thinks it a case of suicide," I whispered. 

"Yes," Shirley replied. "I wonder if Mr. Sefton wrote that verse in 
his notebook to prove to the girl that he really was a poet?" 

"What do you want to know for?" I asked. 

"Because," said Shirley grimly, "if he didn't, then it wasn't written 
by him at all! I wish I had a sample of his handwriting!" After 
that she remained buried in thought until Miss Chown, very much 
shaken, returned in the charge of the sergeant. 

"It's young Sefton, all right," the latter said. "I'll send a man to 
look over his papers, his belongings. If the poor fellow had any rela- 
tives they should be notified at once." 

Shirley gave me one of her swift, inscrutable glances. 

"Joan!" she said. "Take Miss Chown out to the car. We're going to 
drive her home. I'd like a few words with the sergeant." 

I nodded. Shirley, I knew, was up to something mysterious. It was 
fifteen minutes before she rejoined us and when she did there was an 
expression on her face that boded ill to whoever had killed young 
Sefton. Yet the fact that there had been a murder was still unknown; 
as we drove off, boys were crying late editions of the afternoon news- 
papers, with full details of "the horrible suicide in Canterbury Cathe- 

Mrs. Chown, we learned on arriving at the cottage, had not been 
disturbed by further visitors; even the policeman the sergeant had 
planned to send out had not yet arrived. Shirley, to my surprise, an- 
nounced that she was hungry, and accepted with what seemed to me 
almost indecent alacrity Mrs. Chown's invitation to supper. While it 


was being prepared she went into the garden, remained there alone 
for half an hour, smoking endless cigarettes, apparently trying to solve 
some intricate problem. 

But as soon as supper was over she became once more her eager, 
active self. Sending me out to the car, she stopped for a short talk 
with Miss Chown. When she rejoined me she was beaming. 

"We'll give the affair a good write-up in our paper!" she called 
back, noisily starting the engine. 

"Well, Shirley," I said, as we drove off through the darkness, "we 
don't seem any nearer to the murderer than we were before." 

She gave me an impish grin, at that. 

"You don't realize, Joan," she whispered, "just how near to the mur- 
derer we really are ... or have been." For a moment she glanced 
back down the shadowy street, then, to my surprise, she suddenly 
turned off the Dover Road and brought the car to a standstill in one 
of the side streets. "We're getting out here, darling," she said. 

I climbed down, considerably mystified, having supposed we were 
on our way back to the old Falstaff Inn where we had taken rooms 
for the night. No thought of investigating murders had brought us 
to Canterbury; Shirley and I had set out from Eastmill the day be- 
fore on a leisurely progress to join Mother and Dad at Folkestone for 
the week end. 

As soon as we reached the sidewalk, Shirley started back in the 
general direction of the cottage, taking, however, a roundabout way 
which brought us, through dark lanes and byroads, to the rear of the 
Chowns' little garden. A thick hedge of evergreens bordered the 
farther edge of it; when we had noiselessly forced a way through 
their branches we found ourselves close behind the rose arbor, the 
heavy vines of which hid us completely from sight of those in the 
house. It was now, I knew, close to nine o'clock, and while there was 
no moon, the night sky was still sufficiently luminous to render ob- 
jects in the garden quite plainly visible. 

We crouched, hidden, behind the arbor for what seemed hours, al- 
though the ringing of church bells presently told me that it was 
only ten o'clock. Then Shirley, who had offered no explanations, 
nodded significantly in the direction of the house. 

I followed her gaze. The kitchen door was being slowly pushed 
open. Against the light behind it I saw the slender figure of a woman 


... too slender, I realized at once, to be that of Mrs. Chown. Her 
daughter, no doubt, coming into the garden for a breath of air. 

But a breath of air proved not to be Miss Chown's purpose. As she 
crept into view I saw, dimly, that she held an object of some sort in 
her hand. Presently, bending over the new concrete step so kindly 
built by Mr. Sefton at the kitchen door, she began an operation of 
some sort upon it; I could clearly hear the clink of metal as against 


"Shirley!" I whispered. "It's that girl! What does it mean?" 
"Be quiet!" Shirley replied, and I saw the glint of a revolver in her 


I said no more, but it came to me, suddenly, that whatever the ob- 
ject Mr. Sefton had guarded so carefully in his knapsack, it might 
well have been hidden beneath this newly made concrete step . . . 
and Miss Chown, now that the coast was clear, was engaged in re- 
covering it. How all this fitted into Shirley's theory of a murder in 
Canterbury Cathedral was a mystery to me but I knew that it would 
be useless to question her about it now. Nor was such questioning 

As Miss Chown, manipulating what I presently made out to be a 
crowbar, succeeded in overturning the step, I saw a dark figure 
emerge from the shadows at the side of the house and leap toward her. 

Instantly the girl gave a shrill and terrified cry and at the same 
moment Shirley rose, and revolver in hand went plunging across the 

At the foot of the kitchen steps a sharp struggle was going on; I 
heard the impact of a blow and Miss Chown's terrified cries ceased 
abruptly. A moment later, the figure of a man sprang toward the 
front of the house, tucking, as he went, a long slender object beneath 
his arm. 

Shirley stood for an instant gazing after him. Then her hand shot 
up and I heard the sharp report of her pistol. Two other figures, rac- 
ing through the darkness, bore down upon the fleeing man, now 
clutching in agony a shattered arm. 

Shirley was upon him almost as soon as the two policemen . . . 
was picking up the slender roll he had dropped upon the grass. 

"The Wellesley Van Dyck, Sergeant!" she said triumphantly, un- 
rolling the brown-canvas cylinder. "You'll get the credit for this, at 


Scotland Yard, but I think Miss Chown should have the reward! For 
running the risk she did in acting as decoy! That brute might have 
killed her ... as he did his confederate, Sefton. Or Edwards, rather. 
Sefton was merely an assumed name." She turned to Miss Chown, 
nursing a badly bruised cheek. "Thank you, my dear! I hope it 
doesn't hurt too much. It was the only way we could catch him red- 
handed!" Again she glanced at the furious prisoner, moaning dis- 
mally over his wounded arm. "I wouldn't have shot him, Sergeant," 
she said, "if you'd been a little quicker on the uptake!" 

"We got caught in the hedge," replied the officer, flushing. "I don't 
see how we are going to thank you, Miss Holmes. And if you don't 
mind my asking how you did it . . ." 

"Nothing simpler!" Shirley laughed. Like her distinguished father, 
she has a keen love for the dramatic. "I knew that Sefton had hidden 
something . . . something he'd most likely stolen. So this afternoon 
I glanced through the London newspapers for the past two weeks, 
checked up the important crimes. One of them was the theft of Lord 
Wellesley's Van Dyck, on the very day before this young fellow ar- 
rived in Canterbury. By two mechanics, doing plumbing repairs at 
his house. Having learned that this young man was a mechanic, I 
concluded he'd had the picture in his knapsack. And since a rolled-up 
canvas isn't an easy thing to hide, I could imagine no more likely 
place than a recess in that concrete step he so obligingly built for 
Mrs. Chown. This evening, while waiting for supper, I made some 
investigations, satisfied myself that the step was hollow . . . per- 
suaded Miss Chown to upset it with a crowbar soon after it was 
dark, and disclose the hiding place. I felt sure that this man, having 
killed Sefton, probably for double-crossing him, would watch the 
house, knowing quite well the picture must be hidden somewhere 
about the premises. And of course, Sergeant, that was why I didn't 
tell you, until I came to the station with Miss Chown late this after- 
noon, that Sefton had been murdered . . .it was necessary that his 
death should be regarded publicly as a suicide, in order not to scare 
the murderer away. . . ." 

"Amazing!" the sergeant whispered. "Even your father, Miss 
Holmes, couldn't have handled the thing better. . . ." 

"You think not?" smiled Shirley. "You're wrong. Dad would have 


known by now why this fellow in hiding went to the Cathedral at 
all, today. That still is a mystery to me. You figure it out, Sergeant." 

The sergeant stood staring after us, scratching his head in bewil- 




The eminent physician-author of THE HUMAN BODY gives us his 
version of one of the shortest and cleverest pastiches of Sher- 
locf^ Holmes ever conceived. "The scene is Heaven and the 
creative spirit behind this delicious anecdote is undeniably Jo- 
vian. The climactic deduction attributed to Sherlocf( is a price- 
less jewel in the diadem of Holmesian lore. 

This is the first bool^-appearance of Dr. Clendening's short- 
short story. It was issued in 1934 as a "Sherlockjana" leaflet, 
privately printed by Edwin B. Hill, and limited to exactly thirty 
copies. (Try to find one!} Vincent Starrett, who edited the 
"Sherlockjana" series, and still does, appended this note to the 
1934 issue: 

"The editor of 'Sherloctyana 1 by no means presumes that its 
readers will regard this curious item as fresh or original. In- 
deed, he is perfectly aware of a reference in 'The Bookman' of 
7902, couched in terms that would be acceptable to the taste of 
that time, to a story going the rounds of New Yor^: it con- 
cerned the feats of Sherlock^ Holmes in Heaven; but the mod- 
esty of the period kept the anecdote from a full elucidation. 
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also referred to it, in his autobiog- 
raphy, but similarly denied his readers the privilege of read- 
ing it " 

Intrigued? Your curiosity aroused? 

Then obey that impulse read on! 


HERLOCK HOLMES is dead. At the age of eighty he passed away 
quietly in his sleep. And at once ascended to Heaven. 


The arrival of few recent immigrants to the celestial streets has 
caused so much excitement. Only Napoleon's appearance in Hell 
is said to have equaled the great detective's reception. In spite of 
the heavy fog which rolled in from the Jordan, Holmes was imme- 
diately bowled in a hansom to audience with the Divine Presence. 
After the customary exchange of amenities, Jehovah said: 

"Mr. Holmes, we too have our problems. Adam and Eve are miss- 
ing. Have been, 's a matter of fact, for nearly two aeons. They used 
to be quite an attraction to visitors and we would like to commission 
you to discover them." 

Holmes looked thoughtful for a moment. 

"We fear that their appearance when last seen would furnish no 
clue," continued Jehovah. "A man is bound to change in two aeons." 

Holmes held up his long, thin hand. "Could you make a general 
announcement that a contest between an immovable body and an ir- 
resistible force will be staged in that large field at the end of the 
street Lord's, I presume it is?" 

The announcement was made and soon the streets were filled with 
a slowly moving crowd. Holmes stood idly in the divine portico 
watching them. 

Suddenly he darted into the crowd and seized a patriarch and his 
whimpering old mate; he brought them to the Divine Presence. 

"It is," asserted Deity. "Adam, you have been giving us a great deal 
of anxiety. But, Mr. Holmes, tell me how you found them." 

"Elementary, my dear God," said Sherlock Holmes, "they have no 





The recipe for that gourmand's dish, Parodie a la Punch, has 
remained constant through the decades. The modern salad is 
just a second helping of the old-style salmagundi. 

For example: Richard Mallett's "The Case of the Diabolical 
Plot," published in "Punch" on June 12, 1935, is concocted of 
essentially the same ingredients equal parts of farce and ex- 
aggeration, with a light sprinkling of plot that R. C. Leh- 
mann stirred into his Pic{locf( Holes series forty-two year* be- 

Garnished with thicJ{ satire sauce, The Great Detective again 
foils his ancient enemy, The Master Criminal. This time the 
Master Criminal is head of a secret society (the Hippy Hops) 
whose plot strikes at the very roots of the British Empire. How 
otherwise explain the singular and ubiquitous thefts of piano 
feys, circus elephants, and billiard balls? 

"It was all perfectly obvious from the first, my dear Watson" 

Four other burlesques of The Great Detective, all signed by 
the author's initials, R. M., may be found if the reader is 
still hungry in the following issues of "Punch": 

"The Case of the Pearls" November 21, 1934 
"The Case of the Traveller" December 26, 1934 
"The Case of the Pursuit" - January 23, 1935 
"The Case of the Impersonation" May 8, 1935 


N AN unguarded moment the Great Detective's sceptical friend, 
J. Smith, remarked otf-handedly, "If there is one thing more than 


another for which I am thankful (and I assure you there is no great 
competition), it is that you never seem to have come into contact with 
one of those enormously wealthy and ruthless but cultured master 
criminals whose aim is to overthrow the British Empire by means 
of a plot." 

"Oh," said the Great Detective, "but I have. The fact that you 
have noticed my reticence " 

"Your what?" 

"My reticence," repeated the Great Detective, "on this matter - 

"I found it by elimination," J. Smith said. "It was the sole West 
End appearance this season of your reticence." 

"Only my modesty has prevented me " 

"Your " 

"My modesty." 

"That, I take it," said J. Smith carefully, "is another middle name 
of yours that has hitherto escaped my notice. You wish me to assume, 
I suppose, that you notably distinguished yourself against this bloke?" 

The Great Detective looked displeased. 

"I should hardly have called him a bloke," he replied. "He was a 
graduate of one of the older universities and an extremely rich man. 
He had gold-rimmed ventilation holes in his hat. That was what 
first attracted my attention to him; it was only later that I began to 
get some glimmering of his diabolical plot." 

"To overthrow the British Empire?" 

"To strike," said the Great Detective, "at its very roots." 

"I knew it would be one or the other," J. Smith nodded. "How?" 

"It was a long time before I found out " 

"You didn't have to tell me that, either." 

"The country was being terrorized by an infamous secret society," 
went on the Great Detective, "known as the Hippy Hops. I see you 
smile; there is, I admit, something humorous about the name. It 
was originally a band of children those children who read every 
day of the adventures of Hippety Hop, Hoppety Hip and Boomph, 
on the Children's Page of that great London newspaper the Daily. 
Hippety Hop and Hoppety Hip, if I remember rightly, were badgers." 


"Badgers. Boomph, on the other hand, was a South Australian 
wombat. Their adventures were bizarre in the extreme. But when I 


was on the case the Hippy Hops as a children's society had long 
ceased to exist; the name was now applied to a band of ruthless men 
who were terrorizing the country at the bidding of a master-mind. 
Every morning there was news of some fresh criminal act of theirs. 
Every morning some householder would complain that he had lost 
the keys of his piano." 

"Lost the keys of his piano?" 

"To the last sharp to the last flat." 

"Do you mean to tell me," enquired J. Smith hoarsely, "that these 
Hiccups or whatever they were galloped about the country pinching 
piano keys?" 

The Great Detective nodded with gravity. "I do. That was the 
most curious aspect of the matter. No one could imagine what they 
meant to do with all these piano keys. At the same time robberies 
of circus elephants began to increase to an alarming extent. Losses 
were reported from circus after circus throughout the land; and the 
crowning touch came one morning when all the elephants at the Zoo 
were found to have vanished without trace during the night. It was 
when the billiard-saloon outrages started that I had my inspiration. 
Men disguised as badgers " 

"And wombats?" 

"Possibly broke into billiard halls and billiard rooms all over the 
country, held up the players, if necessary with revolvers, and stole 
all the billiard balls they could lay their hands on. Thousands upon 
thousands of billiard balls disappeared utterly in this way within a 
day or two." 

"And what did you do with your inspiration?" 

The Great Detective drew himself up. "I acted upon it swiftly 
and ahem! terribly. The Foreign Office had given me a free 
hand. Realizing where the next blow would fall, I put an armed 
policeman in the bedrooms and the library of practically every well- 
to-do household in the country. I was triumphantly justified. That 
very night each of those policemen was in a position to arrest a mem- 
ber of the Hippy Hops. Each bedroom was visited by one of these 
ruthless criminals in search of ivory-backed hair-brushes; each library 
by one hoping to steal some ivory chessmen. This," the Great 
Detective explained, coughing pompously, "I had foreseen. The mas- 
ter criminal behind the Hippy Hops was out to corner ivory." 


"This cheese whom you dignify by the title of master criminal," 
remarked J. Smith, "seems to me to have suffered from divided aims. 
How could he hope to do well with his ivory cornering when all the 
time his heart was in striking at the very roots of the British Empire? 

"One aim," explained the Great Detective, "was incidental to the 
other. Investigating further, I was amazed at the grandiosity of the 
scheme. Soon after this, if I had not acted, table-knives, paper-knives 
and napkin-rings would have begun to go; and in due course 
practically all the ivory in the country would have been in the hands 
of that criminal." 

"But the sources of supply - 

"Teeming," said the Great Detective, "with his agents. Had 
not broken up the gang one trembles to think of the result, for a 
satellite or minion of the leader had the ear of the Prime Minister. 
Egged on by him, the Government had entered into a contract to 
supply a foreign Power with vast quantities of ivory. Had they been 
unable to fulfil it there would probably have been a war. And in a 



"Don't tell me don't tell me!" said J. Smith. "In a war we should 
have been defeated, because ivory was the only thing that could stand 
against a deadly ray invented by this feller and sold to the foreign 
Power beforehand. Am I right?" 

"You are," said the Great Detective complacently. 

"Ha!" J. Smith remarked. "Now tell me that tin tie-pin of yours 
was given you as a memento by the Prime Minister and then perhaps 
I can get some sleep." 



Until now "Christmas Eve" has been to all intents and purposes 
unavailable to the general public. Its only previous appearance 
was the author's private edition, printed in 79^6 by the Uni- 
versity Press of Cambridge, England, and limited to 100 copies. 
We are happy to bring you this coveted collector's item, one 
of the rarest pastiches of Sherlock^ Holmes. 

(SHERLOCK HOLMES, disguised as a loafer, is discovered probing 
in a sideboard cupboard for something to eat and drin^.) 

HOLMES : Where in the world is that decanter ? I'm sure I 

(Enter DR. WATSON, who sees only the bac\ of 
HOLMES'S stooping figure) 

WATSON: ("Turning quickly and whispering hoarsely off stage) Mrs. 
Hudson! Mrs. Hudson! My revolver, quick. There's a burglar in 
Mr. Holmes's room. (WATSON exits) 

HOLMES: Ah, there's the decanter at last. But first of all I may as 
well discard some of my properties. (Tafes off cap, coat, beard, 
etc., and puts on dressing gown) My word, I'm hungry. (Begins to 
eat sandwich) But, bless me, I've forgotten the siphon! (Stoops 
at cupboard in same attitude as before) 

(Enter WATSON, followed by MRS. HUDSON) 
WATSON : (Sternly) Now, my man, put those hands up. 

HOLMES : (Turning round) My dear Watson, why this sudden passion 
for melodrama? 

WATSON: Holmes! 


HOLMES: Really, Watson, to be the victim of a murderous attack at 
' your hands, of all people's -and on Christmas Eve, too. 
WATSON: But a minute ago, Holmes, there was a viUainous4ookmg 
scoundrel trying to wrench open that cupboard - a really criminal 
type. I caught a glimpse of his face. 

HOLMES- Well, well, my dear Watson, I suppose I ought to be grate- 

?ulfor the compliment to my make-up. The fact is that I have 

spent the day loafing at the corner of a narrow street leading , out 

of the Waterloo Road. They were all quite friendly to me there. 

Yes I obtained the last little piece of evidence that I wanted 

io' dear up that case of the Kentish Town safe robbery -you 

remember? Quite an interesting case, but all over now. 

MRS. HUDSON: Lor', Mr. 'Olmes, how you do go on. Still, I'm learnm 

never to be surprised at anything now. 
HOLMES: Capital, Mrs. Hudson. That's what every criminal investiga- 

tor has to learn, isn't it, Watson? (MRS. HUDSON leaves) 
WATSON: Well, I suppose so, Holmes. But you must feel very pleased 
to think you've got that Kentish Town case off your mind before 

shck season I suppose even criminals' hearts are softened. The 
esuh hat I have'nothing to do but to look out of the window and 

watch other people being busy. That litde pawnbroker at the 

corner, for instance, you know the one, Watsoi 
WATSON: Yes, of course. 

HOLMES: One of the many shops you have often seen, but never 
observed my dear Watson. If you had watched that pawnbroker's 
tn door a carefully as I have during the last ten days you would 
have noted a striking increase in his trade; you might have ob- 
served also some remf rkably well-to-do people going mto *e shop 
There's one well-set-up young woman whom I have seen at 1 
four times. Curious to think what her business may have been. 


. . . But it's a shame to depress your Christmas spirit, Watson. I 
see that you are particularly cheerful this evening. 

WATSON : Well, yes, I don't mind admitting that I am feeling quite 
pleased with things today. 

HOLMES: So "Rio Tintos" have paid a good dividend, have they? 
WATSON: My dear Holmes, how on earth do you know that? 

HOLMES: Elementary, my dear Watson. You told me years ago that 
"Rio Tintos" was the one dividend which was paid in through 
your bank and not direct to yourself. You come into my room with 
an envelope of a peculiar shade of green sticking out of your coat 
pocket. That particular shade is used by your bank Cox's and 
by no other, so far as I am aware. Clearly, then, you have just 
obtained your pass-book from the bank and your cheerfulness 
must proceed from the good news which it contains. Ex hypothesi, 
that news must relate to "Rio Tintos." 

WATSON: Perfectly correct, Holmes; and on the strength of the good 
dividend, I have deposited ten good, crisp, five-pound notes in the 
drawer of my dressing table just in case we should feel like a little 
jaunt after Christmas. 

HOLMES: That was charming of you, Watson. But in my present 
state of inertia I should be a poor holiday companion. Now if only 
(Knoc\ at door) Come in. 

MRS. HUDSON : Please sir, there's a young lady to see you. 

HOLMES : What sort of young lady, Mrs. Hudson ? Another of these 
young women wanting half a crown towards some Christmas 
charity ? If so, Dr. Watson's your man, Mrs. Hudson. He's bursting 
with bank-notes today. 

MRS. HUDSON: I'm sure I'm very pleased to 'ear it, sir; but this lady 
ain't that kind at all, sir. She's sort of agitated, like . . . very anxious 
to see you and quite scared of meeting you at the same time, if you 
take my meaning, sir. 

HOLMES: Perfectly, Mrs. Hudson. Well, Watson, what are we to 
do? Are we to interview this somewhat unbalanced young lady? 


WATSON: I the poor girl is in trouble, Holmes, I think you might 

at least hear what she has to say. 
HOLMES: Chivalrous as ever, my dear Wa,n- bring the lady up, 

Mrs. Hudson. 

MRS. HUDSON: Very good, sir (To the lady outside) This way, 
(Enter Miss VIOLET DE VINNE, an elegant but 

distracted girl of about twenty-two) 
HOLMES: (Bowing slightly) You wish to consult me? 
M,ss DE V.NNE: (Nervously) Are you Mr. Sherlock Holmes 
HOLMES: I am-and this is my friend and colleague, Dr. Wa.son. 
WATSON: (Coming forward and holding out hand) Charmed, I am 
sure, Miss 

";r ;<:; A~ S ~ " 

as possible? 

M,ss DE VINNE: I will try, Mr. Holmes. My name is de Vinne. My 

I*er and I live together in Bayswater. We are not very we 

off, but my father was ... well ... a gentleman. The Counte 

of Barton is one of our oldest friends - 

HOLMES: (Interrupting) And the owner of a very wonderful pearl 


Miss DE VINNE: (Started) How do you know that, Mr. Holmes? 
HOLMES: I am afraid it is my business to know quite a lot about 

other people's affairs. But I'm sorry. I interrupted. ( 
Miss DE VINNE: Two or three times a week I spend the day with Lady 
Barton and act as her secretary in a casual, friend 1, ^ way wr 
letters for her and arrange her dinner-tables when she 
and do other little odd jobs. 
HOLMES: Lady Barton is fortunate, eh, Watson? 
WATSON: Yes, indeed, Holmes. 
Miss DE VINNE: This afternoon a terrible thing happened. I was ar- 


ranging some flowers when Lady Barton came in looking deathly 
white. "Violet," she said, "the pearls are gone." "Heavens," I 
cried, "what do you mean?" "Well," she said, "having quite un- 
expectedly had an invitation to a reception on January 5th, I thought 
I would make sure that the clasp was all right. When I opened 
the case (you know the special place where I keep it) it was 
empty that's all." She looked as if she was going to faint, and 
I felt much the same. 

HOLMES: (Quickly) And did you faint? 

Miss DE VINNE: No, Mr. Holmes, we pulled ourselves together some- 
how and I asked her whether she was going to send for the police, 
but she wouldn't hear of it. She said Jim (that's her husband) 
hated publicity and would be furious if the pearls became "copy" 
for journalists. But of course she agreed that something had to be 
done and so she sent me to you. 

HOLMES: Oh, Lady Barton sent you? 

Miss DE VINNE : Well, not exactly. You see, when she refused to send 
for the police, I remembered your name and implored her to write 
you ... and ... well . . . here I am and here's the letter. That's 
all, Mr. Holmes. 

HOLMES: I see. (Begins to read letter} Well, my dear lady, neither 
you nor Lady Barton has given me much material on which to 
work at present. 

Miss DE VINNE: I am willing to answer any questions, Mr. Holmes. 
HOLMES: You live in Bayswater, Miss Winnie? 
WATSON: (Whispering) "De Vinne," Holmes. 

HOLMES: (Ignoring WATSON) You said Bayswater, I think, Miss 
Winnie ? 

Miss DE VINNE: Quite right, Mr. Holmes, but forgive me, my 
name is de Vinne. 

HOLMES : I'm sorry, Miss Dwinney 

Miss DE VINNE: DE VINNE, Mr. Holmes, D...E...V... 

HOLMES : How stupid of me. I think the chill I caught last week must 


have left a little deafness behind it. But to save further stupidity on 
my part, just write your name and address for me, w, 1 you ?(Hand 
hi pen and fafcr. on u,h,ch M,ss DE V.NNE i) That s better 
Now, tell me, Miss de Vinne, how do you find Bayswater for 

Miss DE VINNE: (Surprised) Oh, I don't know. Mr. Holmes, I 


HOLMES: You don't care for Whrteley's, for instance? 
Miss DE VINNE: Well, not very much. But I can't see ... 
HOLMES: I entirely agree with you, Miss de Vinnc. Yet Watson, you 

know, is devoted to that place - spends hours thei 
WATSON : Holmes, what nonsense are you 
HOLMES: But I think you are quite right, Miss de Vinne. Harrod's 

is a great deal better in my opinion. 

Miss DE VINNE: But I never go to Harrod's, Mr. Holmes in fact 1 
hardly ever go to any big store, except for one or two things. But 
what has this got to do 
HOLMES: Well, in principle, I don't care for them much either, but 

they're convenient sometimes. 

Miss DE VINNE: Yes, I find the Army and Navy stores useful now 
and then, but why on earth are we talking about shops and stores 
when the thing that matters is Lady Barton's necklac 
HOLMES: Ah, yes, I was coming to that. (Pauses) I'm sorry, Miss 

de Vinne, but I'm afraid I can't take up this case. 
Miss DE VINNE: You refuse, Mr. Holmes? 

HOLMES: I am afraid I am obliged to do so. It is a case that would in- 
evitably take some time. I am in sore need of a holiday and only 
today my devoted friend Watson has made all arrangements to 
take me on a Mediterranean cruise immediately after < 
WATSON : Holmes, this is absurd. You know that I merely - 
Miss DE VINNE: Dr. Watson, if Mr. Holmes can't help me won't 
you? You don't know how terrible all this is for me as well as 
Lady Barton. 


WATSON: My dear lady, I have some knowledge of my friend's 
methods and they often seem incomprehensible. Holmes, you 
can't mean this? 

HOLMES: Certainly I do, my dear Watson. But I am unwilling that 
any lady should leave this house in a state of " distress. (Goes to 
door) Mrs. Hudson! 

MRS. HUDSON: Coming, sir. (Mas. HUDSON enters) 

HOLMES : Mrs. Hudson, be good enough to conduct this lady to Dr. 
Watson's dressing room. She is tired and a little upset. Let her 
rest on the sofa there while Dr. Watson and I have a few minutes' 
quiet talk. 

MRS. HUDSON : Very good, sir. 

(Exeunt MRS. HUDSON and Miss DE VINNE, the latter 
looking appealingly at DR. WATSON) 

HOLMES: (Lighting cherry-wood pipe) Well, Watson? 

WATSON: Well, Holmes, in all my experience I don't think I have 
ever seen you so unaccountably ungracious to a charming girl. 

HOLMES : Oh, yes, she has charm, Watson they always have. What 
do you make of her story ? 

WATSON: Not very much, I confess. It seemed fairly clear as far 
as it went, but you wouldn't let her tell us any detail. Instead, you 
began a perfectly ridiculous conversation about the comparative 
merits of various department stores. I've seldom heard you so 

HOLMES: Then you accept her story? 
WATSON: Why not? 

HOLMES : Why not, my dear Watson ? Because the whole thing is a 
parcel of lies. 

WATSON: But, Holmes, this is unreasoning prejudice. 

HOLMES : Unreasoning, you say ? Listen, Watson. This letter purports 
to have come from the Countess of Barton. I don't know her 
Ladyship's handwriting, but I was struck at once by its labored 
character, as exhibited in this note. It occurred to me, further, that 


it might be useful to obtain a speamen of Miss de Vinne's to put 
alo side it - hence my tiresome inability to catch her name Nov. 
my dear Watson, I call your particular attent.on to the c.p.t.1 B s 
which happen to occur in both specimens. 
W.TSON: They're quite different, Holmes but - yes, they've both 

got a peculiar curl where the letter finishes. 
HOLMES- Point No. i, my dear Watson, but an isolated one Now, 
"gh I could not recognize the handwriting, I knew thjs note- 
paper as soon as I saw and felt it. Look at the watermark, Watson, 
and tell me what you find. 
WATSON : (Holding the paper to the light) A. and N. (After a pause) 

Army and Navy . . . Why, Holmes, d'you mean that- 
HOLMES: I mean that this letter was written by your charming friend 

in the name of the Countess of Barton. 
WATSON: And what follows? 

HOLMES: Ah, that is what we are left to conjecture. What will follow 
immediately is another interview with the young woman who ca 1 
herself Violet de Vmne. By the way, Watson after you had finished 
threatening me with that nasty-looking revolver a little while ago, 
what did you do with the instrument? 
WATSON: It's here, Holmes, in my pocket. 
HOLMES: Then, having left my own in my bedroom, I think I'll 

borrow it, if you don't mind. 
WATSON: But surely, Holmes, you don't suggest that- 

HOLMES: My dear Watson, I suggest no ^g~f Ce .^^ ^ 
possibly find ourselves in rather deeper waters than Miss d Vmne 
ch rm and innocence have hitherto led you to expect. (Goes to 
/ooOMrs. Hudson, ask the lady to be good enough to rqoin us. 

MRS. HUDSON: (Off) Very good, sir. 

(Enter Miss DE VINNE) 

HOLMES: (Amiably) Well, Miss de Vinne, are you rested? 
Miss DE VINNE: Well, a little perhaps, but as you can do nothing 
forme, hadn't I better go? 


HOLMES: You look a little flushed, Miss de Vinne; do you feel the 
room rather too warm ? 

Miss DE VINNE: No, Mr. Holmes, thank you, I 
HOLMES: Anyhow, won't you slip your coat off and 
Miss DE VINNE: Oh no, really. (Gathers coat round her) 

HOLMES: (Threateningly) Then, if you won't take your coat off, 
d'you mind showing me what is in the right-hand pocket of it? 
(A loo^ of terror comes on Miss DE VINNE'S face) The game's up, 
Violet de Vinne. (Points revolver, at which Miss DE VINNE screams 
and throws up her hands) Watson, oblige me by removing what- 
ever you may discover in the right-hand pocket of Miss de Vinne's 

WATSON: (Taking out note-case) My own note-case, Holmes, with 
the ten five-pound notes in it! 


Miss DE VINNE: (Distractedly) Let me speak, let me speak. I'll ex- 
plain everything. 

HOLMES: Silence! Watson, was there anything else in the drawer of 
your dressing table besides your note-case? 

WATSON : I'm not sure, Holmes. 

HOLMES : Then I think we had better have some verification. 

Miss DE VINNE : No, no. Let me 

HOLMES: Mrs. Hudson! 

MRS. HUDSON: (Off) Coming, sir. 

HOLMES: (To MRS. HUDSON off) Kindly open the right-hand drawer 
of Dr. Watson's dressing table and bring us anything that you 
may find in it. 

Miss DE VINNE : Mr. Holmes, you are torturing me. Let me tell you 

HOLMES : Your opportunity will come in due course, but in all prob- 
ability before a different tribunal. I am a private detective, not a 
Criminal Court judge. (Miss DE VINNE weeps) 


(Enter MRS. HUDSON with jewel case} 

MRS HUDSON: I found this, sir. But it must be something new that 
the doctor's been buying. I've never seen it before. (MRS. I 

HOLMES: Ah, Watson, more surprises! (Opens case and holds up a 
string of pearls) The famous pearls belonging to the Counte 
Barton, if I'm not mistaken. 

Miss DE VINNE: For pity's sake, Mr. Holmes, let me speak Even the 
lowest criminal has that right left him. And this time I will tell 
you the truth. 

HOLMES: (Sceptically) The truth? Well? 

Miss DE VINNE: Mr. Holmes, I have an only brother. He's a dear 
' -I love him better than anyone in the world -but, God forgive 
him, he's a scamp . . . always in trouble, always in debt Thro 
days ago he wrote to me that he was in an even deeper hole than 
usual If he couldn't raise fifty pounds in the course of a week, 
he would be done for and, worse than that, dishonored and dis- 
graced forever. I couldn't bear it. I'd no money. I daren ^t tell my 
mother. I swore to myself that I'd get that fifty pounds if I had t 
steal it. That same day at Lady Barton's, I was looking, as I d often 
looked, at the famous pearls. An idea suddenly came to me. They 
were worn only once or twice a year on special occasions. Why 
shouldn't I pawn them for a month or so? I could surely get fifty 
pounds for them and then somehow I would scrape together the 
money to redeem them. It was almost certain that Lady Barton 
wouldn't want them for six months. Oh, I know I was mad, but 
did it I found a fairly obscure little pawnbroker quite near here, 
but to my horror he wouldn't take the pearls - looked at me very 
suspiciously and wouldn't budge, though I went to him two c 
three times. Then, this afternoon, the crash came. When Lady Bar- 
ton discovered that the pearls were missing I rushed out of the 
house, saying that I would tell the police. But actuaUy I went home 
and tried to think. I remembered your name. A wild scheme came 
into my head. If I could pretend to consult you and somehow leave 
the pearls in your house, then you could pretend that you had re- 
covered them and return them to Lady Barton. Oh, I know you 11 


laugh, but you don't know how distraught I was. Then, when you 
sent me into that dressing room, I prowled about like a caged 
animal. I saw those banknotes and they seemed like a gift from 
Heaven. Why shouldn't I leave the necklace in their place? You 
would get much more than fifty pounds for recovering them from 
Lady Barton and I should save my brother. There, that's all ... 
and now, I suppose, I exchange Dr. Watson's dressing room for a 
cell at the police station! 

HOLMES: Well, Watson? 

WATSON: What an extraordinary story, Holmes! 

HOLMES: Yes, indeed. (Turning to Miss DE VINNE) Miss de Vinne, 
you told us in the first instance a plausible story of which I did not 
believe a single word; now you have given us a version which in 
many particulars seems absurd and incredible. Yet I believe it to 
be the truth. Watson, haven't I always told you that fact is im- 
measurably stranger than fiction? 

WATSON: Certainly, Holmes. But what are you going to do? 

HOLMES : Going to do ? Why er I'm going to send for Mrs. 
Hudson (Calling off stage) Mrs. Hudson! 

MRS. HUDSON: (Off) Coming, sir. (Enters) Yes, sir. 

HOLMES: Oh, Mrs. Hudson, what are your views about Christmas? 

WATSON: Really, Holmes. 

HOLMES: My dear Watson, please don't interrupt. As I was saying, 
Mrs. Hudson, I should be very much interested to know how you 
feel about Christmas. 

MRS. HUDSON: Lor', Mr. 'Olmes, what questions you do ask. I don't 
hardly know exactly how to answer but . . . well ... I suppose 
Christmas is the season of good will towards men and women 
too, sir, if I may say so. 

HOLMES: (Slowly) "And women too." You observe that, Watson. 
WATSON: Yes, Holmes, and I agree. 

HOLMES: (To Miss DE VINNE) My dear young lady, you will observe 
that the jury are agreed upon their verdict. 


Miss DE VINNE: Oh, Mr. Holmes, how can I ever thank you? 
HOLMES: Not a word. You must thank the members of, the jury . . . 

Mrs. Hudson! 
MRS. HUDSON : Yes, sir. 

HOLMES: Take Miss de Vinne, not into Dr. Watson's room this time, 
but into your own comfortable kitchen and give her a cup . 
famous tea. 
MRS. HUDSON: How do the young lady take it, sir? Rather stronghke, 

with a bit of a tang to it? 

HOLMES: You must ask her that yourself. Anyhow Mrs. Hudson, 
give her a cup that cheers. 

(Exeunt MRS. HUDSON and Miss DE VINNE) 

WATSON: (In the highest spirits) Half a minute, Mrs Hudson I'm 
coming to see that Miss de Vinne has her tea as she likes it. And I 
tell you what, Holmes (Looking towards Miss DE VINNE and hold- 
ing up note-case}, you are not going to get your Mediterranean 

(As WATSON goes out, carol-singers are heard in the 

distance singing "Good King Wenceslas.") 

HOLMES: (Relighting his pipe and smiling meditatively) Christmas 



It is singularly fitting that the last story in our boo\, reprinted 
from "Argosy" magazine, August 9, 7947, should have as its 
underlying theme the most important issue in our lives the 
winning of the war. 

Mr. Sherlocf^ Holmes, you'll remember, did his bit in World 
War I, but it was not, than\ the Lord, His Last Bow. 

Holmes will never die he is unconquered and uncon- 
querable. For Sherloc^ Holmes is England. 


UT OF the black sky plummeted Doling, toward the black earth. 
He knew nothing of the ground toward which he fell, save that it 
was five miles inland from the Sussex coast and, according to Dr, 
Goebbels's best information, sparsely settled. 

The night air hummed in his parachute rigging, and he seemed to 
drop faster than ten feet a second, but to think of that was unworthy 
of a trusted agent of the German Intelligence. Though the pilot above 
had not dared drop him a light, Boling could land without much 
mishap. . . . Even as he told himself that, land he did. He struck 
heavily on hands and knees, and around him settled the limp folds 
of the parachute. 

At once he threw off the harness, wadded the fabric and thrust it 
out of sight between a boulder and a bush. Standing up, he took stock 
of himself. The left leg of his trousers was torn, and the knee skinned 
that was all. He remembered that William the Conquerer had also 
gone sprawling when he landed at Hastings, not so far from here. The 
omen was good. Boling stooped, like Duke William, and clutched a 
handful of pebbles. 

"Thus do I seize the land!" he quoted aloud, for he was at heart 


His name was not really Boling, though he had prospered under 
that and other aliases. Nor, though he wore the uniform of a Bntis 
private, was he British. Born in Chicago late m 1917, of unsavory 
parents, he had matured to a notable career of imposture and theft 
He had entered the employment of the Third, not for love of 
its cause or thirst for adventure, but for the very high rate of pay 
Boling was practical as well as gifted. He had gladly accepted *e 
present difficult and dangerous mission, which might well be the 

^wn came and peered over his shoulder 
Bolmg saw that he was on a grassy slope, wi^an.ill-used grave 
road below it. Just across that road showed lighted windows - a 
house with early risers. He walked toward those lights 

Which way was Eastbourne, was his first problem. He had never 
seen the town; he had only the name and telephone number there ot 
one Philip Davis who, if addressed by him as "Uncle," would know 
that the time had arrived to muster fifteen others. 

They, in turn, would gather waiting comrades from the surround 
ing community, picked, hard men who whole years ago had tab 
lodging and stored arms thereabouts. These would organize and 
operate a. a crack infantry battalion. After that, the well-tested routine 
that had helped to conquer Norway, Holland, Belgium, France - 
seizure of communications, blowing up of rails and roads, capt 

ee would drop in parachutes from overhead, as he, 

Boling had done. At dusk this would be done. In the night, East- 
bourne would be firmly held, with a picked invasion corps Ian 

ossnge road toward the house, Boling considered the matter 
as good as accomplished. He needed only a word from the house- 
dwellers to set him on his way. 

He found the opening in the chin-high hedge of brambles and 
flowering bushes, and in the strengthening light he trod warily up 
the flagged path. The house, now visible, was only a one-story cottage 
of white plaster, with a roof of dark tiling. Gaining the doorstep, 
Bolmg swung the tarnished knocker against the stout oak panel. 

Silence. Then heavy steps and a mumbling voice. The door creaked 


open. A woman in shawl and cap, plump and very old past ninety, 
it seemed to Boling put out a face like a cheerful walnut. 

"Good morning," she said. "Yes, who is that?" Her ancient eyes 
blinked behind small, thick lenses like bottle bottoms. "Soldier, 
ain't you?" 

"Right you are," he responded in his most English manner, smiling 
to charm her. This crone had a London accent, and looked simple 
and good-humored. "I'm tramping down to Eastbourne to visit my 
uncle," he went on plausibly, "and lost my way on the downs in 
the dark. Can you direct me on?" 

Before the old woman could reply, a dry voice had spoken from 
behind her: "Ask the young man to step inside, Mrs. Hudson." 

The old woman drew the door more widely open. Boling entered 
one of those living rooms that have survived their era. In the light 
of a hanging oil lamp he could see walls papered in blue with yellow 
flowers, above gray-painted wainscoting. On a center table lay some 
old books, guarded by a pudgy china dog. At the rear, next a dark 
inner doorway, blazed a small but cheerful fire, and from a chair 
beside it rose the man who had spoken. 

"If you have walked all night, you will be tired," he said to Boling. 
'"Stop and rest. We're about to have some tea. Won't you join 

"Thank you, sir," accepted Boling heartily. This was another 
Londoner, very tall and as gaunt as a musket. He could not be many 
years younger dian the woman called Mrs. Hudson, but he still had 
vigor and presence. 

He stood quite straight in his shabbiest of blue dressing gowns. The 
lamplight revealed a long hooked nose and a long lean chin, with 
bright eyes of blue under a thatch of thistledown hair. Boling thought 
of Dr. Punch grown old, dignified and courteous. The right hand 
seemed loosely clenched inside a pocket of the dressing gown. The 
left, lean and fine, held a blackened old briar with a curved stem. 

"I see," said this old gentleman, his eyes studying Boling's insignia, 
"diat you're a Fusilier Northumberland." 

"Yes, sir, Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers," rejoined Boling, who 
had naturally chosen for his disguise die badges of a regiment lying 
far from Sussex. "As I told your good housekeeper, I'm going to East- 
bourne. If you can direct me, or let me use your telephone " 


"I am sorry, we have no telephone," the other informed him 

Mrs HudL gulped and goggled at that, but the old blue eyes 

barely flickered a message at her. Again the gaunt old man spok*. 

"There is a telephone, however, in the house just behind us -the 

a policeman, especially an odious 

country'one, and so he avoided comment on the last ^suggesnon. In- 
stead he thanked his host for the invitation to refreshment, 
woman brought in a tray with dishes and a steaming kettle, and a 
moment later they were joined by another ancient man. 

This one was plump and tweedy, with a dropping gray mustache 
and wide eyes full of childish innocence. Boling set him down as a 
doctor, and felt a glow of pride in his own acumen when the newcome 
was so introduced. So pleased was Boling with himself, indeed, that 
he did not bother to catch the doctor's surname. 

"Th 1S young man is of your old regiment, I think the lean man 
informed the fat one. "Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers. 

"Oh, really? Quite so, quite so," chirruped the doctor in a katy^d 
fashion that impelled Boling to classify him as a simpleton. Qu 

w s with the o'ld Fifth-but that would be well before your time 
young man. I served in the Afghan War." This last with a proud 
protruding of the big eyes. For a moment Boling dreaded a torrent 
rrmu^cence; but me Punch-faced man had just finished relighting 
his curved briar, and now called attention to the tea which Mrs, 

H Tt Dipped gratefully. Boling permitted him.lf a 
moment of ironic meditation on how snug it was so shortly 1 for 
bombs and bayonets would engulf this and all other houses in the 
neighborhood of Eastbourne. 

Mrs Hudson waddled to his elbow with toasted muffins. Poor lad, 
she said maternally, "you've torn them lovely trousers 

From the other side of the fire bright blue eyes gazed through the 
smoke of strong shag. "Oh, yes," said the dry voice, you walked I ova 
the downs at night, I think I heard you say when you came. And yo 

f 11 p )5 

^"Yes, sir," replied Boling, and thrust his skinned knee into view 
through the rip. "No great injury, however, except to my uniform. 
The King will give me a new one, what?" 


"I daresay," agreed the doctor, lifting his mustache from his tea- 
cup. "Nothing too good for the old regiment." 

That led to discussion of the glorious past of the Fifth Northumber- 
land Fusiliers, and the probable triumphant future. Boling made the 
most guarded of statements, lest the pudgy old veteran find some- 
thing of which to be suspicious; but, to bolster his pose, he fished 
forth a wad of painstakingly forged papers pay-book, billet as- 
signment, pass through lines, and so on. The gaunt man in blue 
studied them with polite interest. 

"And now," said the doctor, "how is my old friend Major Amidon ?" 

"Major Amidon?" repeated Boling to gain time, and glanced as 
sharply as he dared at his interrogator. Such a question might well 
be a trap, simple and dangerous, the more so because his research 
concerning the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers had not supplied him 
with any such name among the officers. 

But then he took stock once more of the plump, mild, guileless 
face. Boling, cunning and criminal, knew a man incapable of lying 
or deception when he saw one. The doctor was setting no trap what- 
ever; in fact, his next words provided a valuable cue to take up. 

"Yes, of course he must be acting chief of brigade by now. Tall, 
red-faced, monocle " 

"Oh, Major Amidon!" cried Boling, as if remembering. "I know 
him only by sight, naturally. As you say, he's acting chief of battalion; 
probably he'll get a promotion soon. He's quite well, and very much 
liked by the men." 

The thin old man passed back Boling's papers and inquired courte- 
ously after the uncle in Eastbourne. Boling readily named Philip 
Davis, who would have been at pains to make for himself a good 
reputation. It developed that both of Boling's entertainers knew Mr. 
Davis slightly proprietor of the Royal Oak, a fine old public house. 
Public houses, amplified the doctor, weren't what they had been in 
the eighties, but the Royal Oak was a happy survival from that golden 
age. And so on. 

With relish Boling drained his last drop of tea, ate his last crumb of 
muffin. His eyes roamed about the room, which he already regarded 
as an ideal headquarters. Even his momentary nervousness about the 
constable in the house behind had left him. He reflected that the very 
closeness of an official would eliminate any prying or searching by the 


enemy He'd get on to Eastbourne, have Davis set the machinery 
going, and then pop back here to wait in comfort for the ripe moment 
when, the chief dangers of conquest gone by, he could step forth. . . . 

He rose with actual regret that he must get about his business 
"I thank you all so much," he said. "And now it's quite 
really must be on my way." 

"Private Boling," said the old man with the blue gown, 
you go, I have a confession to make." 

"Confession?" spluttered the doctor, and Mrs. Hudson stare. 

amazement. . _ 

"Exactly " Two fine, gaunt old hands rose and placed their nngei 
tips together. "When you came here I couldn't be sure about you, 
things being as they are these days." 

"Quite so, quite so," interjected the Doctor. "Alien enemies and 
all that. You understand, young man." 

"Of course," Boling smiled winningly. 

"And so," continued his host, "I was guilty of a lie. But now that 
I've had a look at you, I am sure of what you are. And let me say that 
I do have a telephone, after all. You are quite free to use it. 1 

the door there." 

Boling felt his heart warm with self-satisfaction. He had always 
considered himself a prince of deceivers; this admission on the part 
of the scrawny dotard was altogether pleasant. Thankfully he entered 
a dark little hallway from the wall of which sprouted the telephone. 
He lifted the receiver and called the number he had memorized. 

"Hello," he greeted the man who made guarded answer. "Is that 
Mr Philip Davis? . . . Your nephew, Amos Boling, here. I'm coming 
to town at once. I'll meet you and the others wherever you say ... 
What's the name of your pub again? . . . The Royal Oak? Very 
good, we'll meet there at nine o'clock." 

' "That will do," said the dry voice of his host behind his very 
shoulder. "Hang up, Mr. Boling. At once." 

Bolincr spun around, his heart somersaulting with sudden terror. 
The gaunt figure stepped back very smoothly and rapidly for so 
aged a man. The right hand dropped again into the pocket of 
old blue dressing gown. It brought out a small, broad-muzzled pistol, 
which the man held leveled at Boling's belly. 
"I asked you to telephone, Mr. Boling, in hopes that you woulc 


somehow reveal your fellow agents. We know that they'll be at the 
Royal Oak at nine. A party of police will appear to take them in 
charge. As for you Mrs. Hudson, please step across the back yard 
and ask Constable Timmons to come at once." 

Boling glared. His right hand moved, as stealthily as a snake, 
toward his hip. 

"None of that," barked the doctor from the other side of the sitting 
room. He, too, was on his feet, jerking open a drawer in the center 
table. From it he took a big service revolver, of antiquated make but 
uncommonly well kept. The plump old hand hefted the weapon 
knowingly. "Lift your arms, sir, and at once." 

Fuming, Boling obeyed. The blue dressing gown glided toward 
him, die left hand snatched away the flat automatic in his hip pocket. 

"I observed that bulge in your otherwise neat uniform," commented 
the lean old man, "and pondered that pocket pistols are not regula- 
tion for infantry privates. It was one of several inconsistencies that 
branded you as an enemy agent. Will you take the armchair, Mr. 
Boling? I will explain." 

There was nothing to do, under the muzzles of diose guns, but to 
sit and listen. 

"The apparition of a British soldier trying hard to disguise an 
American accent intrigued me, but did not condemn you at first. 
However, the knee of your trousers I always look first at the 
trouser knee of a stranger was so violently torn as to suggest a heavy 
fall somewhere. The rest of your kit was disarranged as well. But 
your boots I always look at boots second were innocent of 
scuff or even much wear. I knew at once that your story of a long 
night's tramp, with trippings and tumblings, was a lie." 

Boling summoned all his assurance. "See here," he cried harshly, 
"I don't mind a little joke or whatever, but this has gone far enough, 
I'm a soldier and as such a defender of the realm. If you offer me 
violence " 

"There will be no violence unless you bring it on yourself. Suffer 
me to continue: You caused me even more suspicion when, calling 
yourself a private of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers, you yet 
patently failed to recognize die name of my old friend here. He, too, 
was of the Fifth, and in civilian life has won such fame as few 
Fusiliers can boast. The whole world reads his writings " 


"Please, please," murmured the doctor gently. 
"I do not seek to embarrass you, my dear fellow," assured the lean 
host, "only to taunt this sorry deceiver with Ins own dumsine* 
After that, Mr. Boling, your anxiety to show your credentials to i 
who had not asked for them and had no authority to examine tl 
your talk about the service, plainly committed to memory from a 
book; and, finally, your glib talk about one Major Armdon who 
does not exist these were sufficient proof. 

"Does not exist?" almost barked the doctor. "What do you mean? 
Of course Major Armdon exists. He and I served togeth er . 

Then he broke off abruptly, and his eyes bulged foolishly. 1 
coughed and snickered in embarrassed apology. 
" "Dear me, now I know that I'm doddering," he said more gently. 
"You're right, my dear fellow -Major Amidon exists no longer. 
He retired in 1910, and you yourself pointed out his death notice 
me five years ago. Odd how old memories cling on and deceive 
-good psychological point there somewhere ... 

His voice trailed off, and his comrade triumphantly resumed the 

indictment of Boling: , 

"My mind returned to the problem of your disordered 
well-kept shoes. By deductive reasoning I considered and 
one possibility after another. It was increasingly plain that you had 
fallen from a height, but had not walked far to get here. Had you 
traveled in a motor? But this is the only road hereabouts, and at 
one, running to a dead end two miles up the downs. We have been 
awake for hours, and would have heard a machine. A horse then? 
Possible, even in these mechanized times, but your trousers bear no 
trace of sitting astride a saddle. Bicycle? But you would have worn 
a clip on the ankle next the sprocket, and that clip would have 
creased your trouser cuff. What does this leave? 
"What?" asked the fat doctor, as eagerly as a child hearing a story. 
"What indeed, but an airplane and a parachute? And what does 
a parachute signify in these days but G *-^ 
has come to our humble door in the presence of Mr Boling? 
white head bowed, like an actor's taking a curtain call, then turned 
toward the front door. "Ah, here returns Mrs. Hudson, with Constable 
Timmons. Constable, we have a German spy for you I 


Boling came to his feet, almost ready to brave the two pistols that 
covered him. "You're a devil!" he raged at his discoverer. 

The blue eyes twinkled. "Not at all. I am an old man who has 
retained the use of his brains, even after long and restful idleness." 

The sturdy constable approached Boling, a pair of gleaming man- 
acles in his hands. "Will you come along quietly?" he asked formally, 
and Boling held out his wrists. He was beaten. 

The old doctor dropped his revolver back into its drawer, and 
tramped across to his friend. 

"Amazing!" he almost bellowed. "I thought I was past wondering 
at you, but amazing, that's all I can say!" 

A blue-sleeved arm lifted, the fine lean hand patted the doctor's 
tweed shoulder affectionately. And even before the words were 
spoken, as they must have been spoken so often in past years, Boling 
suddenly knew what they would be: 

"Elementary, my dear Watson," said old Mr. Sherlock Holmes. 


J_HE EDITOR hereby makes grateful acknowledgment to the fol- 
lowing authors' representatives, publishers, and authors for giving 
permission to reprint the material in this volume : 

D. Appleton-Century Company, Inc., for The Adventure of the 
Clothes-Line by Carolyn Wells, published in "The Century" maga- 
zine, May, 1915. Copyright, 1915, by The Century Company and 
1942 by D. Appleton-Century Company, Inc. 

Lady Cynthia Asquith and Ann Watkins, Inc., for The Adventure 
of the Two Collaborators by Sir James M. Barrie. 

"The Baltimore Sun" and "The Manchester Guardian" for The 
End of Sherlock Holmes by A. E. P. 

Francis Hyde Bangs for Shyloc^ Homes: His Posthumous 
Memoirs by John Kendrick Bangs. 

Brandt & Brandt for Holmloc\ Shears Arrives Too Late from THE 
EXPLOITS OF ARSENE LUPIN by Maurice Leblanc. Copyright 1907 by Alex- 
ander Texeira de Mattos. 

Dr. Logan Clendening for The Case of the Missing Patriarchs. 

August Derleth for The Adventure of the Norcross Riddle. 

Mrs. Harvey Dodd for The Great Pegram Mystery from THE FACE 
AND THE MASK by Robert Barr. 

Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc., for The Adventures of 
Shamroc\ Jolnes from SIXES AND SEVENS by O. Henry. Copyright, 
1911, 1939, by Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc. 

Mrs. W. O. Fuller for The Mary Queen of Scots Jewel by William 

O. Fuller. 

Harper and Brothers for The Stranger Unravels a Mystery from 
THE PURSUIT OF THE HOUSE-BOAT by John Kendrick Bangs and for A 
Double-Barrelled Detective Story from THE MAN THAT CORRUPTED 
HADLEYBURG by Mark Twain. 

Houghton Mifflin Company for The Stolen Cigar Case from CON- 

Hugh Kingsmill for The Ruby of Khitmandu. 


Frederic Arnold Kummer for The Canterbury Cathedral Murder 
by Basil Mitchell and Mr. Kummer. 

Stephen Leacock for Maddened by Mystery from NONSENSE NOVELS 
and An Irreducible Detective Story from FURTHER FOOLISHNESS. 

Kenneth Macgowan for his biographical sketch of Sherlock 

Harold Ober for The Case of the Missing Lady from PARTNERS IN 
CRIME by Agatha Christie. Copyright, 1929, by Agatha Christie. Re- 
printed by permission of the author. 

Paul R. Reynolds & Son for The Adventure of the Remarkable 
Worm by Stuart Palmer. 

S. C. Roberts for Christmas Eve. 

Julius Schwartz for But Our Hero Was Not Dead by Manly Wade 

Vincent Starrett for The Unique Hamlet. 

Frederic Dorr Steele for The Adventure of the Murdered Art Edi- 
tor (copyright, 1933, by Robert McBride & Co.) and for his drawings. 

Willis Kingsley Wing for The Adventure of the Illustrious Im- 
postor by Anthony Boucher. 

Special thanks are due the following for their generous co-opera- 
tion and enthusiastic encouragement: 
Vincent Starrett of Chicago, Illinois 
P. M. Stone of Waltham, Massachusetts 
Ned Guymon of San Diego, California 
James Sandoe of Boulder, Colorado 
Christopher Morley of Roslyn Heights, New York 
Edgar W. Smith of New York City 
William A. P. White of Berkeley, California 
August Derleth of Sauk City, Wisconsin 
Lieutenant Stuart Palmer of Washington, D.C. 
Frederic Dorr Steele of New York City 
E. A. Osborne of London, England 
Charles Honce of New York City 
David Randall of Larchmont, New York 
Paul North Rice, Chief of the Reference Department of the New 
York Public Library 


Parodies and Pastiches of Sherlock Holmes 

Andrews, Charlton. The Bound of the Astorbilts. "The Bookman," June 
: ThT Resources of Mycroft Holmes. "The Bookman," December 


Atlanta, n.d. A series of books. 
Bangs, John Kendrick. The Stranger Unravels a Mystery. THE PURSUIT c 

THE HOUSE-BOAT (New York, Harper, 1897). 
The Mystery of Pm^ham's Diamond Stud. THE DREAMERS: A CLUI 

(New York, Harper, 1899). 
Sherloc\ Holmes Again. THE ENCHANTED TYPE-WRITER (> 

Harper, 1899). 

Shylock Homes: His Posthumous Memoirs. A series syndicate 
U.S. newspapers in 1903. Titles include: Mr. Homes Radiates a 
Wireless Message; Mr. Homes Ma^es an Important Confession; 
Mr. Homes Foils a Conspiracy and Gains a Fortune; Mr. Homes 
Reaches an Unhistorical Conclusion; Mr. Homes Shatters an 
Alibr Mr. Homes Solves a Question of Authorship (in this 
volume); Mr. Homes Tables a "Hard Case"; Mr. Homes Acts 
as Attorney for Solomon. 

R. HOLMES & co. (New York, Harper, 1906). 

A Pragmatic Enigma. POTTED FICTION (New York, Doubleday, 

Page, 1908). 

Baring, Maurice. From the Diary of Sherlock Holmes. "Eye-Witness, 
London, November 23, 191 1 ; "The Living Age," Boston, June 
20, 1912; LOST DIARIES (London, Duckworth, 1913). 

Barr Robert. Detective Stories Gone Wrong: The Adventures of Sherlaw 
Kombs, under pen-name of Luke Sharp, in 'The Idler Maga- 
zine," London and New York, May 1892. Retitled The Great 
Pegram Mystery, in THE FACE AND THE MASK (London, Hutch- 
inson, 1894; New York, Stokes, 1895). 

Barrie, Sir James M. The Adventure of the Two Collaborators. In Chap- 


ter XI of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's autobiography, MEMORIES 
AND ADVENTURES (London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1924; Boston, 
Little, Brown, 1924). 
Berkeley, Anthony. Holmes and the Dasher. In Lesson XIX of JUGGED 

JOURNALISM, as by A. B. Cox, (London, Jenkins, 1925). 
Boucher, Anthony [William A. P. White]. The Adventure of the Illus- 
trious Impostor. No appearance prior to this volume. 
Cami, Les Aventures de Loufoc\ Holmes (circa 1895). Mentioned in 
SEE SCIENTIFIQUE (Paris, Champion, 1929); further data lacking. 
Castier, Jules. The Footprints on the Ceiling. RATHER LIKE . . . (London, 

Jenkins, 1920; Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1920). 

Christie, Agatha. The Case of the Missing Lady. PARTNERS IN CRIME (Lon- 
don, Collins, 1929; New York, Dodd, Mead, 1929). 
Clemens, Samuel Langhorne. See Twain, Mark. 

Clendening, M.D., Logan. The Case of the Missing Patriarchs. "Sherlock- 
iana" leaflet (Ysleta, Texas, Hill, 1934), privately printed, lim- 
ited to 30 copies. To be included in PROFILE BY GASLIGHT, edited 
by Edgar W. Smith, (New York, Simon & Schuster, 1944). 
Clouston, J. Storer. The Truthful Lady. CARRINGTON'S CASES (Edinburgh, 

Blackwood, 1920). 

Cooper, J. Alston. Dr. Watson's Wedding Present. "The Bookman," Feb- 
ruary 1903. 

Cox, A. B. See Berkeley, Anthony. 

Crawfurd, Oswald. Our Mr. Smith. In the Introduction to THE REVELA- 
TIONS OF INSPECTOR MORGAN (New York, Dodd, Mead, 1907). 
Dannay, Frederic. See Queen, Ellery. 
Derleth, August. The Adventure of the Blacf^ Narcissus. "The Dragnet," 

February 1929. 

The Adventure of the Missing Tenants. "The Dragnet," June 1929. 
The Adventure of the Broken Chessman. "The Dragnet," Septem- 
ber 1929. 

The Adventure of the Limping Man. "Detective Trails," Decem- 
ber 1929. 

The Adventure of the Late Mr. Faversham. "The Dragnet," De- 
cember 1929. 

The Adventure of the Blac\ Cardinal. "Gangster Stories," March 


The Adventure of the Norcross Riddle. No appearance prior to 

this volume. 
Dunbar, Robin. Sherloc^ Holmes Up-to-Date. THE DETECTIVE BUSINESS 

(Chicago, Kerr, 1909). 
Ferguson, Rachel. His Last Scrape; or, Holmes, Sweet Holmes! NYMPHS 

AND SATIRES (London, Benn, 1932). 
Ford, Corey. The Rollo Boys with Sherloc\ in Mayfair; or, Keep It Under 


(New York, Doran, 1925); "The Bookman," January 1926. 
Ford, James L. The Story of Bishop Johnson. "The Pocket Magazine," 

November 1895. 
Forrest, George F. The Adventure of the Diamond Necklace. MISFITS: 

A BOOK OF PARODIES (Oxford, Harvey, 1905). 
Fuller, William O. The Mary Queen of Scots Jewel. First published as A 

NIGHT WITH SHERLOCK HOLMES (Cambridge, Mass., 1929), pri- 
vately printed, limited to 200 copies. 
Harte, (Francis) Bret. The Stolen Cigar Case. CONDENSED NOVELS: SECOND 

SERIES (London, Chatto & Windus, 1902; Boston, Houghton, 

Mifflin, 1902). 
Heard, H. F. A TASTE FOR HONEY (New York, Vanguard, 1941; London, 

Cassell, 1942). 

REPLY PAID (New York, Vanguard, 1942; London, Cassell, 1943). 

Henry, O. [William Sydney Porter]. The Sleuths and The Adventures of 

Shamroc^ Jolnes. SIXES AND SEVENS (Garden City, Doubleday, 

Page, 1911)- 

The Detective Detector. WAIFS AND STRAYS (Garden City, Double- 
day, Page, 1917). 
Jones, H. Bedford. The Affair of the Aluminum Crutch. "Palm Springs 

News," February and March 1936. 
Kingsmill, Hugh. The Ruby of Khitmandu. "The Bookman," April 


Kummer, Frederic Arnold and Mitchell, Basil. THE ADVENTURE OF THE 
QUEEN BEE. "Mystery," July, August, September and October 
1933; based on the London stage play, THE HOLMESES OF BAKER 
STREET, by Mr. Mitchell. 

The Canterbury Cathedral Murder. "Mystery," December 1933. 
Lang, Andrew. At the Sign of the Ship. "Longman's Magazine," Lon- 
don, September 1905. 


Leacock, Stephen. Maddened by Mystery; or, The Defective Detective. 
NONSENSE NOVELS (London, Lane, 1911; New York, Lane, 
An Irreducible Detective Story. FURTHER FOOLISHNESS (New York, 

Lane, 1916; London, Lane, 1917). 
Leblanc, Maurice. HolmlocJ^ Shears Arrives Too Late. THE EXPLOITS OF 

ARSENE LUPIN (New York, Harper, 1907). 

THE FAIR-HAIRED LADY (London, Richards, 1909), reissued as 


1909), published in the U.S. as THE BLONDE LADY (New York, 

Doubleday, Page, 1910). 

THE HOLLOW NEEDLE (New York, Doubleday, Page, 1910; London, 

Nash, 1911). 

Lee, Manfred B. See Queen, Ellery. 

Lehmann, R. C. THE ADVENTURES OF PICKLOCK HOLES (London, Bradbury, 
Agnew, 1901). Appeared first in "Punch," London, 1893-1894, 
under pen-name of "Cunnin Toil." Contents: The Bishop's 
Crime; The Dune's Feather; Lady Hilda's Mystery; The Escape 
of the Butt-Dog; The Hungarian Diamond; The Umbrosa Bur- 
glary (in this volume); The Stolen March; Picl^locf^s Disap- 

Mallett, Richard. The Case of the Pearls. "Punch," November 21, 1934. 
The Case of the Traveller. "Punch," December 26, 1934. 
The Case of the Pursuit. "Punch," January 23, 1935. 
The Case of the Impersonation. "Punch," May 8, 1935. 
The Case of the Diabolical Plot. "Punch," June 12, 1935. 
Mitchell, Basil. See under Kummer, Frederic Arnold. 
Munkittrick, R. K. The Sign of the "400." "Puck," New York, October 

24, 1894. 
[A. E. P.]. The End of Sherloc^ Holmes. "The Manchester Guardian," 

July 7, 1927; "The Living Age," Boston, August 15, 1927. 
Palmer, Stuart. The Adventure of the Remarkable Worm. No appearance 

prior to this volume. 

The Adventure of the Marked Man. "Ellery Queen's Mystery Mag- 
azine," July 1944. 

Pearson, Edmund Lester. Sherloci^ Holmes and the Drood Mystery. In 
Chapter III of THE SECRET BOOK (New York, Macmillan, 1914). 
Porter, William Sydney. See Henry, O. 
Queen, Ellery [Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee]. The Disappear- 


ance of Mr. James Phillimore. Based on a radio drama in The 
Adventures of Ellery Queen, broadcast January 14 and 16, 1943. 

Ramsay, Allan. See Zero. 

Roberts, S. C. CHRISTMAS EVE (Cambridge, England, 1936), privately 

printed, limited to 100 copies. 
Sharp, Luke. See Barr, Robert. 
Smith, Harry B. Sherloc^ Holmes Solves the Mystery of Edwin Drood. 

"Munsey's Magazine," December 1924. Published in book form 


(Glen Rock, Pa., Klinefelter, 1934), privately printed, limited to 

33 copies. 
Starrett, Vincent. THE UNIQUE HAMLET (Chicago, 1920), privately printed. 


HANDS, edited by Mr. Starrett, (New York, Macmillan, 1940). 
Steele, Frederic Dorr. The Adventure of the Missing Hatrac^. "The 

Players Bulletin," October 15, 1926. Reprinted in THE PLAYERS' 

BOOK (1938). 

The Attempted Murder of Malcolm Duncan. "The Players Bulle- 
tin," June i, 1932. 

The Adventure of the Murdered Art Editor. SPOOFS, edited by Rich- 
ard Butler Glaenzer, (New York, McBride, 1933). 

(New York, Neale, 1918). 

Twain, Mark [Samuel Langhorne Clemens]. A DOUBLE-BARRELLED DE- 
TECTIVE STORY (New York, Harper, 1902). 

Upward, Allen. The Adventure of the Stolen Doormat. THE WONDERFUL 
CAREER OF EBENEZER LOBE (London, Hurst and Blackett, 1900). 

(Leiden, Netherlands, 1912). Contents: The Moving Picture 
Theatre; The Adventure of the Bloody Post Parcel; The Adven- 
ture of the Singular Advertisement; The Adventure of the Mys- 
terious Tom-Cat. 

Wellman, Manly Wade. The Man Who Was Not Dead, originally titled 
But Our Hero Was Not Dead. "Argosy," August 9, 1941. 

Wells, Carolyn. The Adventure of the Clothes-Line. "The Century," 
May 1915. 

White, William A. P. See Boucher, Anthony. 

Zero [Allan Ramsay]. The Adventure of the Table Foot. "The Bohe- 
mian," London, January 1894. 


ShcrlocJ^ Holmes' s Other Names 

Bones, Thinlock, xi, 231-234 Homes, F. H. A., xi 

Bones, Warlock, xvii Homes, Padlock, xi 

Homes, Shylock, xi, 191, 208-217, 

Cohen, Sherlock, xi 359 

Hone, Purlock, xi, 238-244 

Fu-erh-mo-hsi, ix Hope, Sherrington, ix, x 

Great Detective, the, 218-226, 332- Jolnes, Shamrock, xi, 175-181, 361 

335 Jones, Hemlock, xi, 164-174 

great detective, the, 227, 228 

Kombs, Sherlaw, xi, 3-13, 359 

H-LM-S, xvii 

Holes, Picklock, xi, 185-189, 235, Monk, Sherlock, xi 

332, 362 Mycroft, Mr., xviii 

Holmes, Hemlock, xvii 

Holmes, Loufock, 360 Ol-mes, Sherlock, xiii 

Holmes, Raffles, 191, 256, 359 

Holmes, Sherrinford, ix Pons, Solar, xi, 261-274 

Holmes, Sherringford, x 

Holmes, Shirley, xi, 256, 257, 313- Shears, Holmlock, xi, 14-38, 362 

329 Sholmes, Herlock, xi, 15 

Holmes, Sir Sherlock, xvii, 363 Sholmes, Herlock, 15 

Dr. Watson s Other Names 

Goswell, xvii Watsis, Dr., xi 

Jobson, xi, 238-244 Watson, Bertie, 66-69 

Watson, Joan, 257, 313-329 

Parker, 26I-J74 Whatson ,xi, 3-13 

Potson, x,, 185-189 Whatsoname, xi, 231-234 

Sacker, Ormond, ix Whatsup, xi, 175-181